Critical factors determining successful irrigation farming in Lesotho By Palamang Joseph Ntai

Critical factors determining successful irrigation farming in Lesotho By Palamang Joseph Ntai

Critical factors determining successful irrigation farming in Lesotho

By

Palamang Joseph Ntai

Submitted in partial fulfilment for the requirements for the degree

Masters of Science in Agricultural Extension

In the

Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science

University of Pretoria

.

Pretoria, 0002 Republic of South Africa.

2011 i

© U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f P r r e t t o r r i i a

ABSTRACT

Critical factors determining successful irrigation farming in Lesotho

By

Palamang Joseph Ntai

Under the Supervision of Dr J B Stevens

Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development.

Degree Masters in Agricultural Extension.

Lesotho has ample water resources which could be used to improve the livelihoods of Basotho as a nation in many aspects. However, this seems not to be the case as Lesotho suffers from food in security particularly during severe droughts, to an extent of seeking support from international communities. Therefore the purpose of the study was to identify and investigate critical factors that determine successful irrigation farming in Lesotho in order to uplift the performance of irrigation and livelihoods of Basotho. A structural questionnaire was administered amongst 153 irrigation farmers and 31 extensionists randomly in the four southern districts of

Lesotho, namely Maseru, Mafeteng,

Mohale’s Hoek and Quthing. The above mentioned districts were chosen because of the spacious agricultural land they have. Secondly most rivers with significant amount of water flow towards these areas.

Irrigation farmers showed that households are engaged in a wide range of livelihood activities, both on-farm and off-farm (e.g, taxi, business, etc). In addition, they obtain a substantial portion of the household income from the state through pensions and social grants. Agriculture is an important livelihood activity among irrigation plot holders in the four districts. Maize, potatoes, cabbage and beans are the most common crops grown by irrigation farmers in Lesotho. 34% of the farmers perceive climate as the most important factor determining what crops to plant, while 29% of the respondents consider potential markets as an important factor with decision making. Farmers use hoeing as the main method of controlling weeds and involve family members as their source of labour. 64% of farmers use rivers as their main source of water while the rest use dams and boreholes. Irrigation water is free of charge with exception of the fewer farmers located in the Maseru district where they irrigate from the Mohokahare and Phuthiatsana rivers. Most farmers perceive irrigation as an expensive activity especially those who are using diesel and electricity to pump water from the rivers and dams.

Evidence suggests that very few farmers (5%) and extensionists (3%) have received any training in terms of irrigation farming and maintenance of irrigation systems, marketing opportunities and farm entrepreneurship

ii

planning. Extension credibility is highly questionable as 70% of irrigation farmers do not regard extension as important for irrigation management decisions. Evidence further indicates that most farmers do not belong to any farmer groups/associations. 78% of extension workers indicate that the main problem hindering them from efficient extension delivery is the lack of infrastructure and facilities.

These results suggest the need for greater political and institutional input in irrigation farming and in particular to revisit institutional policy instruments and institution for extension, technical assistance, training and credit services that will facilitate performance of irrigation farming in Lesotho. Most importantly, farmers and extensionists should be adequately trained on the economic use of water and how to preserve it for sustainable irrigation development.

iii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I thank Almighty God who made all this work possible. My supervisor, Dr J B Stevens, who tirelessly kept me on track and insisted on the quality of this document. I will not forget Madam Jacque Soremle and her team in their provision of quality analysis of the data of this document. Mr Remaketse Williams, who advised me on the layout of this document deserves special mention for his contribution. My wife Mahlompho and my daughter,

Hlompho have always been close to me with prayers and words of encouragement. Mr Ntitiea Tuoane, who organised transport for data collection, the National Manpower Secretariat, South African Water Research

Commission, fellow extensionists and farmers who were patient as we interview them, Mrs Tlhoriso for her spectacular editorial work, they all deserve big thank you‘s. iv

DECLARATION

I declare that this dissertation, submitted for the degree of masters in Agricultural Extension at the University of

Pretoria, is my own work and has not been previously submitted by me or anyone else for the degree at any other

University. All the sources quoted have been acknowledged by references.

Signature v

Dedication

To my dear parents, Mohapi Daniel and Masenna Alice Ntai. vi

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT…………………………………………………………………………………………………..…II

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................................................................... IV

DECLARATION.................................................................................................................................................. V

DEDICATION..................................................................................................................................................... VI

TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................................................. VII

LIST OF FIGURES ....................................................................................................................................... XVII

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ..................................................................................................... XVIII

CHAPTER1 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..1

INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................................................. 1

1.

1.2.

1.2.1.

1.2.2.

1.2.3.

1.3.

1.4.

1.4.1.

1.4.2.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND ........................................................................................ 1

H

ISTORY OF EXTENSION IN

L

ESOTHO

...................................................................................................... 2

Challenges of Extension ......................................................................................................................... 3

Efficiency of Extension .......................................................................................................................... 3

Funding of Extension ............................................................................................................................. 4

P

ROBLEM STATEMENT

............................................................................................................................. 4

P

URPOSE OF THE STUDY

.......................................................................................................................... 5

Objectives of the study ........................................................................................................................... 5

Hypotheses ............................................................................................................................................. 5

CHAPTER2………………………………………………………………………………………........................6

LITERATURE OVERVIEW .............................................................................................................................. 6

2.1.

2.2.

2.3.

2.4.

2.5.

2.5.1.

2.5.2.

2.6.

2.6.1.

O

VERVIEW OF IRRIGATION INTERNATIONALLY

........................................................................................ 6

T

HE IMPORTANCE OF IRRIGATION

............................................................................................................ 6

T

HE IMPORTANCE OF WATER IN IRRIGATION

............................................................................................ 7

M

ANAGEMENT OF IRRIGATION WATER

.................................................................................................... 7

C

HALLENGES FOR IRRIGATION

................................................................................................................ 8

The role of irrigation in food security .................................................................................................... 9

Water policy and water use charges ....................................................................................................... 9

H

ISTORY OF IRRIGATION IN

L

ESOTHO

...................................................................................................... 9

The first irrigation projects in Lesotho (1968) ..................................................................................... 10

2.6.2.

2.6.3.

2.6.4.

2.6.5.

2.6.6.

2.7.

Leshoele Irrigation Scheme (1968) ...................................................................................................... 10

Taiwanese and Chinese governments interventions (1978-1990) ........................................................ 11

Assessment of the efficiency of irrigation on irrigation schemes in Lesotho (early 1970 s) ............... 11

Senqu River Agricultural Extension Project (SRAEP) (1972) ............................................................ 12

Hololo Valley Project and Bauer irrigation Schemes (1978-1985) ..................................................... 12

Irrigation potential in Lesotho .............................................................................................................. 13

2.8.

2.9.

2.10.

2.10.1.

P

L

E

OLICIES AND LEGISLATION TO PROMOTE WATER USE AND RIGHTS IN

AND TENURE SYSTEM IN

XTENSION

A

L

ESOTHO

L

ESOTHO

...................................................................................................... 14

PPROACHES COMMONLY USED FOR PERSUASION OF FARMERS

................................... 14

........................................ 15

Participatory Approaches………………………………………………………………………….......15

2.10.1.1. Farmers Participatory Research……………………………………...………………………………..15 vii

2.10.1.2. Participatory Action Research………………………………………………………………………...16

2.10.2.

2.10.4.

Training and Visit approach to Agricultural Extension ....................................................................... 16

Client demand approach ....................................................................................................................... 18

CHAPTER 3…………………………………………………………………………………………………….19

METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................................................................. 19

3.1.

3.2.

S

OURCES OF INFORMATION

................................................................................................................... 19

C

HOICE OF STUDY AREA

........................................................................................................................ 19

3.3.

3.4.

3.5.

D

S

D

ESIGN AND FORMULATION OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE

AMPLING PROCEDURES

ATA

C

OLLECTION

............................................................................ 20

........................................................................................................................ 20

............................................................................................................................... 20

3.6. D

ATA ANALYSIS

.................................................................................................................................... 21

CHAPTER 4…………

………………………………………………………………………………………….21

DESCRIPTION OF THE STUDY AREAS ...................................................................................................... 22

4.1.

4.2.

4.3.

4.3.1.

4.3.2.

4.3.3.

4.3.4.

4.3.5.

4.3.6.

4.4.

4.4.1.

4.4.2.

4.4.3.

4.5.

4.5.1.

4.5.2.

4.5.3.

4.6.

4.6.1.

4.6.2.

4.6.3.

4.6.4.

I

NTRODUCTION

...................................................................................................................................... 22

C

OMMON CHALLENGES

......................................................................................................................... 22

M

ASERU DISTRICT

................................................................................................................................. 22

Population ............................................................................................................................................. 23

Climate ................................................................................................................................................. 24

Land distribution in the Maseru district ............................................................................................... 25

Agriculture............................................................................................................................................ 26

Irrigation potential ................................................................................................................................ 26

Number of irrigation schemes in the Maseru district ........................................................................... 28

M

AFETENG DISTRICT

............................................................................................................................. 28

Topography of the land.………………………………………………………………….…………...29

Land use ............................................................................................................................................... 29

Sources of water…………………………………………………………………………….………...29

M

OHALE

SHOEK DISTRICT

..................................................................................................................... 31

Climate ................................................................................................................................................. 32

Land use ............................................................................................................................................... 33

Water Sources....................................................................................................................................... 34

Q

UTHING DISTRICT

................................................................................................................................ 35

Climate ................................................................................................................................................. 36

Topography of the land ........................................................................................................................ 36

Land use ............................................................................................................................................... 37

Sources of irrigation water in the district ............................................................................................. 37

CHAPTER 5…………………………………………………………………………………………………….39

PERSONAL PROFILE OF IRRIGATION FARMERS................................................................................. 39

5.1. I

NTRODUCTION

...................................................................................................................................... 39

5.2.

5.3.

5.4.

5.5.

5.6.

5.7.

5.8.

5.9.

GENDER COMPOSITION OF THE RESPONDENTS…………………………………………….

39

E

DUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION

............................................................................................................. 40

H

OUSEHOLD COMPOSITION

.................................................................................................................... 41

S

OURCES OF HOUSEHOLD INCOME

......................................................................................................... 41

F

ULLTIME OR PART TIME FARMING

........................................................................................................ 42

L

ABOUR FORCE

..................................................................................................................................... 43

S

IZE OF THE FARM

................................................................................................................................. 43

F

ARMING STYLES

.................................................................................................................................. 44

viii

5.9.1

5.9.2

5.9.3.

Livestock farming................................................................................................................................. 46

Perceived satisfaction with land size and form of ownership .............................................................. 46

Distances travelled between residence and the farm ............................................................................ 47

CHAPTER 6…………………………………………………………………………………………………….48

CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS ................................................................................................................... 48

6.1.

6.2.

6.3.

6.3.1.

6.3.2.

6.3.3.

I

NTRODUCTION

...................................................................................................................................... 48

C

ROPS GROWN IN THE AREA

.................................................................................................................. 48

Factors affecting the selection of crop type .......................................................................................... 49

Use of recommended varieties ............................................................................................................. 50

Perceived constraints that prevent the use of recommended varieties ................................................. 51

Perceptions regarding the advantages of recommended varieties ........................................................ 52

6.4.

6.4.1.

6.4.2.

S

OIL PREPARATION AND FERTILISATION PRACTICES

.............................................................................. 53

Soil analysis .......................................................................................................................................... 53

Fertilizers management on the farm .................................................................................................... .54

6.4.3. Types of fertilisers……………………………………….……………………………………………54

6.4.3.1. Criteria used for selection of fertilisers……………………………………………………………….55

6.4.3.2. Management of fertilisers……………………………………………………………………………..55

6.8.

6.8.1.

6.8.2.

6.8.3.

6.8.4.

6.9.

6.9.1.

6.9.2.

6.5.

6.6.

6.6.1.

6.6.2.

6.7.

6.7.1.

6.7.2.

6.7.3.

I

A

VAILABILITY OF FARMING EQUIPMENT

D

ISEASES AND WEED MANAGEMENT

..................................................................................................... 57

Methods of weeding ............................................................................................................................. 57

Diseases and pests ................................................................................................................................ 57

RRIGATION WATER MANAGEMENT

................................................................................................ 56

........................................................................................................ 58

Water source for irrigation ................................................................................................................... 59

Water allocation and charging .............................................................................................................. 60

Source used for conveyance of irrigation water to irrigation fields ..................................................... 60

6.7.4. Irrigation methods .............................................................................................................................. ..61

6.7.4.1. Criteria for selection of irrigation methods………………………………………………….………..62

6.7.4.2. Perceived satisfaction in the method selected…………………………………………….…………..63

6.7.4.3. Irrigation scheduling practices…………………………………………………………….……….….63

6.7.4.4. Cost of irrigation..……………………………………………………………………………………..64

6.7.4.5. Maintenance...…………………………………………………………………………………….…...65

6.7.4.6. Training in irrigation management…………………………………………………………………....65

M

ARKETING POTENTIAL OF CROPS

........................................................................................................ 65

Target customers .................................................................................................................................. 66

Perceived marketing opportunities ....................................................................................................... 66

Contracts in marketing ......................................................................................................................... 67

Marketing information ......................................................................................................................... 68

F

INANCIAL SUPPORT

.............................................................................................................................. 68

Financial support to irrigation farmers ................................................................................................. 68

Perceived satisfaction of farmers with regard to financial support ...................................................... 69

CHAPTER 7……………………………………………………………………………………………………70

FARMERS INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE SUPPORT SYSTEM ................................................. 70

7.1.

7.2.

7.2.1.

7.2.2.

F

ARMERS

PERCEIVED ROLE OF EXTENSION WORKERS

.......................................................................... 70

P

ERCEIVED IMPORTANCE OF EXTENSION SUPPORT BY IRRIGATION FARMERS WITH REGARD TO CROP

SELECTION

…………………………………………………………………………………………..…70

Perceived satisfaction of farmers with extension support on fertilizer management …………………71

Farmers group and associations ........................................................................................................... 73

ix

7.2.3.

7.2.4.

7.2.5.

7.2.6.

Knowledge support for irrigation management on the farm…………………………………….…….72

Farmer groups and association………………………………………………………………………...73

Contact with extension………………………………………………………………………...............75

Perceived problems with extension delivery…………………………………………………………..74

CHAPTER 8………………………………………………………………………………………………….…76

PERCEIVED EXTENSION DELIVERY TO IRRIGATION FARMERS ................................................... 76

8.1.

8.1.1.

8.1.2.

8.1.3.

8.1.4.

8.1.5.

8.1.6.

8.1.7.

8.1.8.

8.1.9.

8.1.10.

8.1.11.

P

ROFILE OF EXTENSION WORKERS

…………………………………………………………………......76

Locality………………………………………………………………………………………………..76

Gender distribution of extensionists …………………………………………………………………..77

Education .. ……………………………………………………………………………………………77

Age ……………………………………………………………………………………………………78

Working experience . …………………………………………………………………………………79

Field of specialization…………………………………………………………………………………79

Extension methods and approaches used in development…………………………………………….80

Constraints in delivering extension services …………………………………………………………80

Monitoring and evaluation of extension impact ………………………………………………………81

Training in irrigation management ……………………………………………………………………82

Perceived technical knowledge level …………………………………………………………………83

8.1.11.1. Perceived satisfaction with fertiliser management and support……………………………………....83

8.1.11.2. Perceived satisfaction with crop management support.………………………………………………84

8.1.11.3. Perceived satisfaction with weed management………………………………………….……………84

8.1.11.4. Perceived satisfaction with agro-climate support……………………………………………………..85

8.1.11.5. Perceived satisfaction with irrigation management support…………………………………………..85

8.1.12.

8.2.

8.3.

8.4.

Perceived irrigation efficiency in the area ............................................................................................ 86

M

C

P

AJOR PROBLEMS OF FARMERS AS VIEWED AS BY IRRIGATION EXTENSIONISTS

LIMATIC FACTORS AFFECTING IRRIGATION PERFORMANCE

ERCEIVED AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT IN IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT

.................................... 86

................................................................. 87

.................................................. 88

CHAPTER 9……………………………………………………………………………………………………89

9.

9.1.

9.2.

9.3.

9.3.1.

9.3.2.

9.4.

9.4.1.

9.4.2.

9.4.3.

9.5.

9.5.1.

9.5.2.

9.6.

9.6.1.

9.6.2.

9.6.4.

9.8.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

........................................................................... 89

I

NTRODUCTION

...................................................................................................................................... 89

L

IVELIHOOD SYSTEMS FOR SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION IN

L

ESOTHO

..................................................... 89

C

ROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

................................................................................................................. 90

Cropping systems ................................................................................................................................. 90

Cultivation practices ............................................................................................................................. 91

I

RRIGATION MANAGEMENT

.................................................................................................................... 91

Irrigation methods and sources of water .............................................................................................. 91

Irrigation scheduling practices ............................................................................................................. 92

Perceived cost of irrigation................................................................................................................... 92

INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR

F

ARMERS

........................................................ 92

Perceived role of extension support ..................................................................................................... 92

Perceived role of extension in the formation of farmer groups ............................................................ 93

EFFECTIVENESS OF EXTENSION DELIVERY AS PERCEIVED BY EXTENSION STAFF .... 94

Differential perceptions of farmers and extensionists regarding the delivery of extension services ... 94

Constraints that impact on effective extension delivery ...................................................................... 94

Perceived challenges for irrigation management ........................................................................ …….95

R

ECOMMENDATIONS

............................................................................................................................. 95

x

REFERENCES .................................................................................................................................................... 98

APPENDIX 1…………………………………………………………………………………………………..108

APPENDIX ……………………………………………………………………………………………………116

xi

LIST OF TABLES

Table 2.1 Potential extension of irrigation areas in selected lowlands districts in Lesotho

Table 4.1 Population distribution

Table 4.2 Summary of population data for the Maseru District

Table 4.3 Monthly mean: maximum and minimum temperatures

Table 4.4 Land use

Table 4.5 Mohokare flow

Table 4.6 Phuthiatsana flow

Table 4.7 Irrigation schemes according to the Ministry of Agriculture

Table 4.8 Risk periods for farming from adverse weather conditions in the Mafeteng

Table 4.9

Table 4.13

Table 4.14

Land use

Table 4.1

0

Irrigation schemes ( Mafeteng)

Land use in Mohale’shoek district

Arable land (Mohale’s Hoek)

Table 4.11 Rainfall of Mohale’shoek district (195-1997)

Table 4.12 Risk periods for farming from adverse weather conditions in Mohale’shoek

Table 4.15 Irrigation schemes in Mohale’shoek district

Table 4.16 Risk periods for farming from weather conditions in Quthing district

Table 4.17 Different agro-ecological zones and population density of Quthing (1996)

Table 4.18 Land use classification in Quthing district

xii

33

33

34

29

30

31

32

24

27

27

28

13

23

23

24

34

36

37

37

Table 4.19 Irrigation schemes in the area (Quthing)

Table 5.1 Frequency distribution of the respondents according to gender per district (N=153)

Table 5.2

Table 5.3

Frequency distribution of educational background of respondents according to various age categories (N=143)

Household size and composition (N=146)

Table 5.4

Table 5.5

Proportional contribution derived from farming to household income

(N=128)

Frequency distribution of full time and part time farmers (N=152)

Table 5.6 Frequency distribution of farm labour (N=151)

Table 5.7 Frequency distribution of the sizes of the farms across the districts (N=126)

Table 5.8 Frequency distribution of reasons for farming (N=142)

Table 5.9 Livelihood systems for irrigation farmers (N=153)

Table 5.10 Frequency distribution of irrigation farmers keeping livestock (N=152)

Table 5.11 Satisfaction of farmers regarding the distances travelled between the farm and the residence (N=153)

Table 6.1 The use of recommended varieties (N= 150)

Table 6.2

Table 6.4

Rating of recommended varieties (N=139)

The distribution of fertilisers use on the farm (N=152)

Table 6.3 The use of soil analysis for crop production purposes (N=149)

38

39

40

41

47

51

53

53

54

44

45

45

46

42

43

43

xiii

Table 6.5 Satisfactions of farmers with regard to fertiliser management (N=152)

Table 6.23 Perceived satisfaction with financial support (N=126)

xiv

Table 6.6 Distribution of methods used to cultivate land (N=152)

Table 6.7 Distribution of diseases and pests during summer and winter seasons (N=153)

Table 6.8 Sources of irrigation water (N=153)

Table 6.9

Table 6.10

Sources of irrigation water and the adoption of irrigation methods (N=146)

Distribution of units of water allocated to the farmers (N=144)

Table 6.11 Sources used for conveyance of irrigation water from the source to the irrigation field (N=153)

Table 6.12 Distribution of irigation methods in the areas (N=153)

Table 6.13 Distribution for criteria used in selecting irrigation methods (N=153)

Table 6.14

Table.6.15

Farm size and adoption of irrigation technology (N=124)

Perceived satisfaction of farmers on the selected irrigation methods (N=153)

Table 6.16 Irrigation scheduling practices (N=152)

Table 6.17 Distribution of how expensive irrigation is from farmers point of view (N=153)

Table 6.18 Distribution of responsibilities for maintenance of the systems (N=147)

Table 6.19 Distribution of training attended for irrigation management (N=141)

Table 6.20 Perceived existence of reliable marketing opportunities (N=87)

Table 6.21 Marketing contracts with supply stores (N=145)

Table 6.22 Financial support to irrigation farmers (N=147)

56

56

58

59

59

60

63

64

64

65

61

61

62

62

65

67

67

69

69

Table 7.1

Table 7.2

Table 7.3

Table 7.4

Perceived importance of extension support in crop selection (N=145)

Perceived satisfaction of farmers in regard to extension support on fertiliser application on the farms (N=153)

Perceived satisfactions of farmers with regard to extension support on irrigation management (N=149)

Frequency distribution of farmers belonging to a farmer association (N=134)

Table 7.5 Perceived knowledge of extension officer in forming farmer groups (N=142)

Table 7.6 Frequency distribution of contact between farmers and extension (N=146)

Table 7.7 Perceived shortcomings of extension delivery as viewed by farmers (N=153)

Table 8.1

Table 8.2

Distribution of gender and highest qualifications obtained by extension staff (N=31)

Distribution of age amongst the extensionists (N=26)

Table 8.3

Table 8.4

Table 8.5

Perceived constraints that hinder extension performance in irrigation farming (N=31)

Perceived satisfaction of extensionists regarding fertiliser management support (N=30)

Perceived satisfaction of extensionists regarding crop management support (N=31)

Table 8.6 Perceived satisfaction of extensionists regarding weed management support (N=31)

Table 8.7

Table 8.8

Perceived satisfaction of extensionists regarding interpreting agro-climate data (N=31

Perceived satisfaction of extensionists regarding competency in irrigation management (N=31)

Table 8.9 Constraints perceived to hinder irrigation performance

Table 8.10 Perceived climatic factors affecting irrigation performance and sources of climatic information (N=18)

71

78

78

81

84

84

84

85

85

87

87

71

72

73

73

74

75

xv

Table 8.11 Frequency distribution of points to consider in order to improve irrigation in Lesotho

xvi

88

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 5.1.

Figure 6.1.

Figure 6.2.

Figure 6.3.

Figure 6.4.

Figure 6.5.

Figure 6.6.

Figure 6.7.

Figure 7.1.

Figure 8.1.

Figure 8.2.

Figure 8.3.

Figure 8.4.

Figure 8.5.

Figure 8.6.

Distribution of sources of household income (N=153) ........................................................... 42

Common crops grown in the area ........................................................................................... 49

Criteria used by respondents for selecting a crop.................................................................. 50

Reasons of not adopting the recommended varieties (N=56) ............................................... 52

Distribution of possible reasons for selecting types of fertilisers (N=153) ........................... 55

Distribution of weeding methods in Lesotho (N=153) ........................................................... 57

Distribution of marketing opportunities n=153 ..................................................................... 66

Distribution of market information sources …………...........................................................68

Frequency distribution of imformation sources used for

(Irrigation management (N=31) ………………………………………………………….…..72

Frequency distribution of extensionists in the four study areas (N=31) .............................. 77

Levels of experiences of the extensionists (N=31) .................................................................. 78

Frequency distribution of areas of specialisation (N=31) ...................................................... 80

Frequency ditribution of monitoring and evaluation of extension impact by extensionists (N=32)…………………………………...…………….82

Frequency distribution of whether extensionists attending irrigation training(N=31)………………………………………………………………...……83

Rating of irrigation performance in Lesotho by extensionists(N=31)……………….……..86

xvii

NGO

UEA

WB

MOA

LEMA

GOL

SRAEP

HVP

UNDP

GNP

GDP

FAO

SIDA

SWACAP

T&V

GTZ

IFAD

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

United Nations Development Programme

Gross National Product

Gross Domestic Product

Food Agricultural Organisation

Swedish International Development Authority

Soil Water Agro-forestry Conservation Programme

Training and Visit

Gesellschafttir Technischa Zusammenarbeit

International Food Agricultural Development

Non-Governmental Organisation

Unified Extension Approach

World Bank

Ministry of Agriculture Lesotho

Lesotho Enterprise in Mechanical Agriculture

Government of Lesotho

Senqu River Agricultural Extension Project

Hololo Valley Project xviii

CHAPTER 1

1.

Introduction and background

INTRODUCTION

Lesotho is a small land locked mountainous country completely surrounded by the Republic of

South Africa. It has a total area of 30 350km

2

, a north-south extent of about 230km and a maximum width of about 210km. Lesotho is the only country in the world that is entirely situated above 1000m in altitude (Bureau of Statistics, 1999-2000).

The cultivated land is largely confined to the lowlands and foothills on the western border and

Senqu river valley in the south. Much of the rest of the land area is utilised for extensive livestock farming. Smallholder farmers whose farms are generally less than one hectare in size dominate the agricultural production (Bureau of Statistics, 1999-2000).

In 2002, the arable land was estimated at 334 000 hectares of which 330 000 hectares were cultivated while 4 000 hectares were under permanent crops. Maize is by far the most popular crop accounting for 60% of the crop area; sorghum varies between 10% and 20%, wheat approximately 10% and beans 6 % (Bureau of Statistics, 1999-2000). Out of the 330 000 hectares which were cultivated, only 12 500 were considered suitable for formal irrigation as determined by the FAO in 2007. Production yields have declined since independence as reflected in a dependence ratio of 32 in 1965 to 52 in 1990 (UNDP, 1994). Sechaba, (1994) estimated that if present trends in population growth and agricultural production continue, Lesotho would face soon difficulties of producing enough food to meet the demand.

In economic terms, Lesotho is one of the world‘s least developed countries. The Gross National

Product (GNP) in 1997 was 4.747 million Maluti, which is equivalent to about 790 US$ per capita. In 1998 the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had declined in real terms by 5.5% to US$

747. The nominal GDP however has increased since 1997, reflecting a domestic inflation rate of about 9%. The average nominal income per person amounted to 3.133 Maluti (US$570) per annum which was slightly lower than the 1997 level (Central Bank of Lesotho Annual Report,

1999).

1

Water resources, surface and ground water, are abundant in Lesotho. The average rainfall is

760mm per annum, varying from 300mm per annum in the western lowlands to 1600mm per annum in the north eastern highlands. Surface water resources are estimated at 4.73km

3 per annum, which is far in excess of the country’s requirement.

Despite the availability of water; effective distribution of water is a major problem in Lesotho. Water is not always where it can readily be used. Due to the geographical situation, water is mostly abundant in the mountains where arable land is less available. In the lowland areas, water is often found in the valleys, but it is slightly below the level of arable lands, and therefore requiring to be pumped to the arable lands (United Nations Statistics, 2004).

Although Lesotho’s main natural resource is water, drought occasionally affects agricultural production leading to significant declines in the contribution of the Gross Domestic Product and forcing the country to apply for assistance from the international community (FAO, 2007).

According to a Government Report (2007), the possibility of increasing food production through area expansion is extremely limited which leaves only one option namely to intensify production from irrigation schemes.

In recent years many irrigation development projects were launched in Lesotho, most of them being funded by external donors. Public-supported irrigation development projects have been largely unsuccessful due to a top-down and supply-driven approach followed by the government, donors and with little consultation and participation by farmers (FAO, 2004).

1.2.

History of extension in Lesotho

The Department of Agriculture in Lesotho was established in 1935 with three sectors of responsibility, namely: Veterinary Services, Crops and Co-operatives and Soil Conservation. The extension approach adopted was a general one with all messages communicated to farmers by agricultural demonstrators. In 1966 the Ministry of Agriculture was created with three departments (Livestock, Crops and Conservation) each having its own extension section

(Government Report, 2007).

2

From 1966 onwards different extension approaches funded by different donors have been tried; different donors adopted different approaches such as the participatory approach funded by the

Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA), the client demand approach funded by the Soil and Water Conservation and Agro-forestry Programme (SWACAP) and the Training and Visit approach (T&V) funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit

(GTZ) (Ministry of Agriculture, 1996).

1.2.1.

Challenges of Extension

As frequently observed in other developed and developing countries, Agricultural Extension has played a remarkable role in developing the agricultural sector and the economy of Lesotho.

However there were a lot of challenges, which had to be overcome. Some still exist today. For example politicians mostly decide what developmental projects should be initiated and extensionists are just instructed what to do. Most extension workers are appointed on the basis of their political affiliations and not on how competent they are in service delivery. Globalisation, market liberation, deterioration of natural resources and population growth all pose tremendous challenges for extension institutions to re-adjust their strategies and services. (IFAD, 2007). It is because of these challenges, that extension is taking different shapes so as to adapt to the changes and challenges of the day.

1.2.2.

Efficiency of Extension

The efficiency of extension systems in sustainable agriculture and rural development for food security is a major concern of the FAO (2007). The FAO (2007) identified shortcomings with regard to extension systems, policies, strategies and approaches adopted for extension management, extension-research-education linkages and developing extension programmes and methodological tools tailored to farmers. It is important that agricultural extension prioritises, its interventions with farmers and selects efficient decision-support tools which will efficiently target the needs of farmers within specific environmental and socio-economic settings

(Patanothai, 1997).

3

1.2.3.

Funding of Extension

Worldwide, agricultural extension performs important roles to enhance agricultural productivity.

However, during the 1990s economic structures and adjustment policies triggered governments to cut back extension support in many countries which consequently led to crises in public agricultural extension (Bebbington

et al.

1993

).

Many local Non-Governmental Organisations

(NGOs) have tried to fill the gap by implementing extension services through private grants.

These created challenges for NGOs due to lack of resources, namely lack of specialised expertise and financial resource (Schuh

et al

. 1989).

1.3.

Problem statement

The overview of the history of irrigation in Lesotho clearly illustrates the results of a donor driven approach, where participants were not considered during the designing and planning of the projects. The majority of projects collapsed after a while and new donors were sought to support the irrigation schemes.

Much time and national resources were spent on irrigation schemes, which failed to be sustainable and profitable to Basotho as a nation. All the irrigation schemes which have been developed in Lesotho were either funded by the government or by international donors. Some irrigation schemes are currently considered functional but are highly dependent on government subsidies and financial support. Poor performance of these irrigation schemes has led to low crop yields to such an extent that since 1987 irrigation farmers were unable to make profits on these schemes (Bureau of Statistics, 1994).

Inefficient extension support constitutes yet another problem in irrigation performance in

Lesotho. According to FAO (2007), irrigation is a very expensive enterprise. It requires comprehensive preparations and understanding by all stakeholders. It is estimated that on average 12 000 US$/ha have been spent during the establishment of irrigation systems which comprises gravity fed and low pressure sprinkler systems, excluding main pipe lines from the water source to the edge of the field.

The Extension Division in the Department of Agriculture is responsible for mobilising farmers and communities to adopt new irrigation technologies. Various extension approaches have been

4

implemented since 1966. Presently, three extension approaches are generally used by the

Agricultural Department in Lesotho namely, the Training and Visit Approach, Client-Demand

Approach and the Participatory Extension Approach.

An evaluation process that was done by the districts agricultural officers’ in 1995 revealed the performances of each approach. The outcome of this evaluation was incorporated in the new approach called Unified Extension Approach (UEA) (Ministry of Agriculture Cooperatives and

Land Reclamation, 1996). It is not clear what this approach entails except to say it is a hybrid of training and visit, client-demand and the participatory extension approaches. Also the implementation of the UEA has not been explained in sufficient detail (since 1996). Several workshops have been offered to help extension officers with the implementation of the UEA

(Extension Report, March, 2000). Antholt (1994) contends that a variety of extension approaches is required to meet the diverse needs of different groups and types of farmers.

1.4.

Purpose of the study

The study will identify and analyse the critical factors that determine successful irrigation extension support to farmers in Lesotho. The study will also discuss the possible reasons which led into poor performance of the irrigation schemes in Lesotho.

1.4.1.

Objectives of the study

a) To determine and analyse the current situation of irrigation schemes in Lesotho. b) To determine possible reasons for poor performance of irrigation farmers in Lesotho. c) To analyse the efficiency of extension support rendered to irrigation farmers in Lesotho. d) To make recommendations regarding the improvement of irrigation development in

Lesotho.

1.4.2.

Hypotheses

Hypothesis 1: Poor extension support to irrigation farmers impacts negatively on irrigation development.

Hypothesis 2: Participation of farmers in the planning and implementation of irrigation development programmes is a pre-requisite for sustainable irrigation development.

5

CHAPTER 2

LITERATURE OVERVIEW

2.1.

Overview of irrigation internationally

This chapter gives some insight into irrigation performance in a broad sense, internationally and further narrows the perspectives to the situation in Lesotho. The history of irrigation development and potential is dealt with in this chapter.

At first sight, it may appear to be unnecessary to define an activity which is well known and practised in a great many countries; however it is imperative to view how various people define irrigation. Stern (1979) defines irrigation as any process, other than natural precipitation, which supplies water to crops, orchard, grass or any other cultivated plants. Vaughn

et al.

(1980) defines irrigation generally as application of water to the soil for purposes of supplying the moisture essential for plant growth.

Irrigation has been practised in some parts of the world for several thousand years. For example rice has been grown under irrigation in India and the Far East for nearly 5000 years (Stern,

1979). History notes that irrigation was one of the first modifications of the natural environment undertaken by early man (Hoffman

,

Howell and Solomon 1992).

2.2.

The importance of irrigation

Irrigated agriculture plays an important role in providing the general stability in the food production required to keep pace with the population growth in Sub-Sahara Africa. Since the world population has increased from 1.6 billion to more than 5 billion over the last 90 years, agriculture needs to produce more food for the growing population (Howell, 2001). Irrigation is a cornerstone in global food security. The relative high crop yields farmers could get with controllable water supply can play a vital role in feeding millions being added to the existing population (Peter and Gleik, 1993).

However, both irrigation development and food production have serious substantial limitations.

This is because most skills that are required for the development of these sectors are imported

6

from developed countries and in most cases, are not compatible with the indigenous knowledge and the needs of the smallholder farmers in the Sub-Sahara Africa (Parr

et al.

1990).

2.3.

The importance of water in irrigation

Water plays a vital role for all living organisms and major ecosystems as well as for human health, food production and economic development. Access to clean water is an essential necessity for the well-being of all people. Water availability has been identified as an important environmental constraint on development and ultimately a limiting factor for population growth and food production (World Bank, 1992).

Water availability is closely related to human welfare, since it affects nutrition through food production and people’s health through quantity and quality of drinking water. Falkenmark

(1989) illustrates that a population usually experiences food security problems if there is not enough water locally available for food production.

Today nearly 40% of the world food supply is grown under irrigation (Desherbinin and Dompka

2005). In recent years, increasing emphasis has been placed on smallholder irrigation as a means of promoting socio economic development in less developed areas. In certain areas, production was increased, however this was due to centralised planning with insufficient participation of stakeholders. As a result, it was not sustainable (Thomas and Stilwell 1984).

2.4.

Management of irrigation water

Van der Leeuw, (2000) and Mclntosh

et al.

(2000) asserted that the preconditions to the improvement of sustainable livelihoods are dynamic; the world is continuously experiencing social-ecological changes that can alter the capacity of the ecosystems to generate goods, including food and services on which society depends. Water being a key element in all ecosystems has to be cared for by users and governments (Daily, 1997).

Cai and Rosegrant (2003) indicates that agriculture consumes 72% of the world’s fresh water and that the use of water for irrigation is not efficient in many countries. Kirda and Kanber

,

(1999) suggests that sustainable methods of drought mitigation and increasing of production need to be adopted.

7

Many important agricultural areas experience shortage of water because water is not used efficiently. In addition, residential and industrial demands for water are increasing, due to increase in urbanisation (Postel, 2001). However the new development of modern irrigation technology addresses the need for more efficient water use. New irrigation technology includes irrigation drip kits (Samakande and Manzunqu, 2004) and techniques of irrigation scheduling

(Thomas

et al

. 2000).

Advocating for efficient irrigation water management gained momentum during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The emphasis in general was on irrigation scheduling at farm level but

Wickham and Takase, (1976) as confirmed by Stevens (2006), illustrates that efficient bulk water distribution at system level is a prerequisite for efficient farm irrigation water management.

2.5.

Challenges for irrigation

The main challenge facing water resource managers in coming years is to secure enough water for irrigation. This is especially so in countries where population growth is very high. In Sub-

Sahara Africa water scarcity as well as very high levels of malnutrition often occur (Rockstrom

,

Barron and Fox 2003).

Perret, Farolfi and Hassan (2006) are of the opinion that although irrigation previously played a vital role in the food supply as well as world economics for almost a century, it faces a variety of challenges to-day namely: lack of irrigation efficiency, public demand for alternative water uses, lack of maintenance and often socio-economic inequalities. Peter and Gleick (1993) also indicate that there has been a tremendous slowdown of irrigation development brought about by lower commodity prices, comparatively high energy costs and unfavourable economic conditions.

Sustainable irrigation development has been much slower than expected during the last 20 years due to factors which include degradation of irrigated crop land, mismanagement of irrigation schemes, difficulties in maintaining and rehabilitation of schemes, and problems experienced upstream and downstream in the sharing of water resources (FAO, 2002).

8

2.5.1.

The role of irrigation in food security

Although there has been a significant development in addressing malnutrition some developing countries are still undernourished and do not have enough food to eat (Flore, 2001). Irrigation schemes have a role to play in the reduction of poverty and food insecurity, (Samakande

and

Manzunqu, 2004). Poverty, food security and rural development are intertwined concepts which have caused concern globally and governments are trying their best to combat this problem. In recent years, large irrigation schemes seem to have been a failure in most African countries.

Presently smallholder irrigation farmers who stay in the rural areas have been targeted. This is because they are the ones affected most severely by poverty and food insecurity (Chigerwe

et al

.

2004).

2.5.2.

Water policy and water use charges

Continuous increases in water demand globally have triggered intense debate around the world.

This has motivated the formulation of water policies and water pricing methods (approaches) for irrigation water. Water charges that recover costs of water supply are seen as an incentive for users to use water resources more efficiently and economically Backeberg

et al.

1996; Stevens,

2005. It is believed that farmers will respond to the introduction of water charges by reducing their consumption (Ministry of Environment in Spain, 1998). However these assumptions have been disputed by various authors who have studied the impact of water charges on more efficient water use (Varela-Ortega

et al

. 1995).

2.6.

History of irrigation in Lesotho

According to the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA, 2002) irrigated crop production in Lesotho has a long history. It started with small dams being constructed by the British Empire in 1964, before

Lesotho become independent. Since then, irrigation enjoyed high priority in the Ministry of

Agriculture. In 1965, a five year project funded by the British government established a core of irrigation research at Thaba-Phatsoa in the Leribe District and Tsakholo in Mafeteng District. In the Maseru district however, agricultural research concentrated mainly on fertiliser requirements, cropping patterns and cost of effectiveness of various irrigation systems. At Tsakholo station, the focus was on finding suitable irrigation methods for duplex soils that are common in Lesotho

(MOA, 2002).

9

2.6.1.

The first irrigation projects in Lesotho (1968)

According to the MOA (2002) the first irrigation scheme in Lesotho commenced at Thaba-

Phatsoa in the Leribe district in 1962. However, due to problems experienced during the preindependence period, the scheme had to be restarted in 1967/68. This included 8.2 hectares consolidated irrigation block with 11 stakeholders. During subsequent years, the scheme expanded and during the winter of 1971 about 60.1 hectares were irrigated. The project was managed by extension agents employed by the Ministry of Agriculture. Each farmer had to sign a contract with the Ministry of Agriculture to provide free labour irrespective of the size of the land under irrigation. The net profit was determined after harvesting the crops and was divided equally between the government and the farmers. The farmer’s share of profits however, was divided on the basis of each farmer’s original size of landholding. (MOA, 2002).

During the initial stages of irrigation development, crops such as maize, wheat, peas, beans and potatoes were commonly grown. Later during the summer of the 1969/70, twelve hectares of

Eragrostis teff

was also produced alternating with experimental cropping of Lucerne, cabbage, carrots and rice. By 1974, seventy-five smallholders were growing maize, beans, wheat and peas on 65 hectares of irrigated land (MOA, 2002).

2.6.2. Leshoele Irrigation Scheme (1968)

Thaba-Phatsoa Irrigation Scheme was generally considered successful and gave rise to the development of other irrigation schemes like Leshoele in 1968. However, production returns

(yield) from Leshoale was very low. One of the major constraints was that farm machinery was mainly provided by the Lesotho Enterprise the Mechanical Agriculture (LEMA) and broken machinery had to be taken to South Africa for repair. Another constraint was the general poor management and the unwillingness of farmers to provide labour which led farm operations frequently being carried out late or not at all. The general low morale on the scheme probably rooted in social issues, for instance, the uneven distribution of profits which penalised small holders (MOA, 2002).

In 1974, the rules and regulations of participation on irrigation schemes were revised to ensure that provision of labour was proportional to the size of landholding. This new arrangement

10

however proved to be unacceptable to traditional chiefs and larger landholders who had benefited from the previous system.

2.6.3.

Taiwanese and Chinese governments interventions (1978-1990)

In 1975/76 the governments of Lesotho and Britain failed to provide sufficient funds for production and this exacerbated the debts of farmers. British financial assistance to Thaba-

Phatsoa ended in 1977. In the late 1970s, the Taiwanese Government took over the project management from the governments of Lesotho and Britain. The emphasis of the government of

Taiwan was on the production of high value crops, which required changes in the methods of irrigation by using small pumps. In 1983, when the Taiwanese Government intervention came to an end, nine families (households) were involved in the production of cabbage under irrigation covering 2.4 hectares. In 1984, the officials from the Republic of China took over and managed the project. They followed the same approach as the Taiwanese. This intervention ended in

1990. In 1991, with the assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture and the extension support, the project was allocated to business people who had organised themselves (MOA, 2002).

2.6.4.

Assessment of the efficiency of irrigation on irrigation schemes in Lesotho (early

1970 s)

During the early 1970s, the efficiency of various forms of irrigation were assessed on the irrigation schemes of Thaba-Phatsoa, Tsakholo, Maseru Experimental farm and others. In 1972,

Binnie and Partners were commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme

(UNDP) and the World Bank to produce a strategic plan for water resource development in

Lesotho. As part of this plan, prospects for irrigated agriculture and the possible pattern of irrigation development in Lesotho were identified (MOA, 2002).

The study identified 12 488 portions of land comprising of 5 787 hectares of class 1 land, 4 428 hectares of class 2 land and 2 273 hectares of class 3 land as technically feasible for irrigation.

The study recommended commercial management of this irrigation land in consolidated units of

4 00 hectares or more (MOA, 2002).

11

2.6.5.

Senqu River Agricultural Extension Project (SRAEP) (1972)

Simultaneously the government of Lesotho (GOL) came to an agreement with (UNDP) to establish a large scale irrigation scheme on land previously described as suitable for overhead sprinkler irrigation. The Senqu River Agricultural Extension Project (SRAEP) was funded by

UNDP and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). It began to function in 1972 and covered Quthing and Mohale’shoek districts respectively. The objectives of this project were to demonstrate economic irrigation methods for fodder production.

The project provided credit to farmers for the purchase of seasonal inputs, irrigation equipment and tractor units and for the training of staff. The project also served farmers by identifying market opportunities. The requirement of the MOA was that the project should be administered using consolidated irrigation blocks to demonstrate possible advantages with the use of this method. Six dry land and two irrigated blocks were established which formed the core areas for demonstrations. The farmers formed an association to improve communication amongst themselves and the project officials (MOA, 2002).

From the onset of the project, tremendous delays in the signing of project documents were experienced. Many of the technical personnel were not in place and the original planning of the project did not include the intervention of sociologists and economists. This led to confusion and disappointment amongst the participants. Severe financial problems were experienced with the project which prompted the Government of Lesotho to request a mid-term review. This led to the creation of positions on the project for rural sociologists and farm economists (MOA, 2002).

2.6.6.

Hololo Valley Project and Bauer irrigation Schemes (1978-1985)

During April 1978, the Hololo Valley Project (HVP) commenced under the Irish Government

Foundation. A total of seventeen irrigation schemes were included in this project that was developed over a period of ten years. Twelve of these irrigation schemes were run by individual smallholders while five were communal schemes. The twelve irrigation schemes managed by individual farmers with assistance from HVP became successful. The HVP provided technical support and loans for irrigation equipment. This project proved that small-scale irrigation

12

schemes managed by farmers can do well, provided the necessary, technical and financial supports were offered (MOA, 2002).

During 1985, Bauer Irrigation Schemes were established by the Ministry of Agriculture. This irrigation scheme entailed large-scale area-based irrigation at eleven sites in the lowlands, totalling 2 519 hectares. This irrigation project differed from the other schemes in that it was financed by means of a loan which was designated in Austrian schilling. The Bauer irrigation projects included Ha Nyenye, Hlotse. Tsikoane and Peka in Leribe District, Masianokeng in

Maseru District, Ha Thoahlane and Litsoeneng in Mafeteng District, Ha Khitsane and

Maphutseng in Mohale’shoek District, and Seaka and Tele in Quthing District. Selected farmers from these districts did not participate in the development and planning of the project and therefore many problems were encountered at the implementation stage (MOA, 2002).

2.7.

Irrigation potential in Lesotho

The long term irrigation potential of Lesotho has been estimated at 12 500 hectares during 1996, with the possibility to extend it with 2 520 hectares. (FAO, 2007) The potential extension of the irrigation area per district is presented in the Table 2.1.

Table 2.1 Potential extension of irrigation areas in selected lowlands districts in Lesotho

Potential extension of irrigation area (ha)

Hololo

Hlotse

30

500

Phuthiatsana

Mpetsana

950

40

Makhaleng 1 000

Total

Source (FAO, 2007).

2 520

Other estimates of the potential irrigation extension of Lesotho were considered in terms of the available water resources. According to these estimates, a minimum of 3 500 hectares and up to

13

7 000 hectares could be brought under irrigation if the Senqu River potential is fully exploited.

(FAO, 2007).

2.8.

Policies and legislation to promote water use and rights in Lesotho

The Water Act of 1978 is a framework for utilising and managing water resource in Lesotho. It states that all water found naturally in the country belongs to the Basotho nation. It however forces anybody who needs to use water for reasons other than for primary purposes to apply for a permit to the Department of Water Affairs (Government of Lesotho, 1978). The primary water use includes irrigation of less than a quarter of a hectare, rural domestic water use and watering of not more than 30 head of cattle (Government of Lesotho, 1978). According to the Lesotho government report (1997) the national irrigation policy of the government is currently in disarray as the government and its donors recognise that previous policies have failed. The report further indicates that there is no comprehensive alternative developed to date.

The poverty reduction strategy and action plan is a document that underlines the commitment and strategies of the Lesotho Government to reduce poverty and the challenges relating to it. Its overall goal is to reduce poverty by more than 50% by 2015 and ultimately eradicate it by 2022

(Government of Lesotho, 2005). Water is seen as the first priority under the poverty reduction strategy and action plan. Hereby the poor are empowered to generate income through the promotion of irrigation in the rural areas (Government of Lesotho, 2005).

2.9.

Land tenure system in Lesotho

Currently the distribution and use of land in Lesotho are arranged by principal chiefs. Few people own and manage their land. Land has traditionally been regarded as a common resource regulated by the chiefs and local communities. Chiefs are responsible for the allocation of land to households. The rangelands are grazed communally, using rotational grazing. However the system faces a number of challenges as indicated by UNDP (1993). The challenges are as follows:

Since most individuals do not own land, there is almost no interest in husbandry.

Land cannot be used as collateral in taking loans for other businesses.

14

Although 50% of the households are headed by women, they are not allowed to own land or inherit land.

There is no transparency in the current system. For example, if land is lying fallow for two years, under the customary law, the chief has a right to take that land. However, this power has been abused by chiefs who used the legitimate resting of land as justification for reallocating it to others.

2.10.

Extension Approaches commonly used for persuasion of farmers

Agricultural extension is concerned with the diffusion and adoption of new technologies and practices. Diffusion and adoption of technologies differ from innovation to innovation. Some innovations take a short time to be adopted while others may not be adopted at all (Rogers,

1972). Extensionists use different approaches of persuasion depending on the nature of innovation and farmers perception.

2.10.1.

Participatory Approaches

Farmers have often been ignored in the development of innovations that can change and improve production in their farming systems. Participatory approaches however consider farmers to be the main stakeholders in research and they become fully engaged in the generation and dissemination of knowledge (Braun, Thiele and Fernadez, 2000).

An intrinsic characteristic of farmers is that they are innovative to sustain, expand and improve their production systems. Agricultural innovation is a product of social negotiation among stakeholders. The spreading of this innovation is only possible through effective social organisation and communication at community level (Hagman

et al

. 1999; Padre

,

Sudarshana and Tripp

,

2003). Two participatory extension approaches implemented in Lesotho are the

Farmers Participatory Research and the Participatory Action Research.

2.10.1.1.

Farmers Participatory Research

Farmers Participatory Research (FPR) has been proposed as an approach to develop appropriate agricultural systems that are indisputably acceptable to the farmers while simultaneously contributing to the improvement and maintenance of Agricultural Sustainability and

Environmental Quality (Fujisaka NRC, (1989). Cox (1996) and Rhodes (1997) developed so-

15

called the Farmer Back to Farmer model which was a forerunner of the participatory approach.

This model begins and ends with the farmer, and involves four activities namely;

farmer-scientist diagnosis

,

interdisciplinary team research, on-farm testing and adaptation and farmerevaluation adaptations

. Farmers are therefore accepted (engaged) as expert members of the interdisciplinary team and are integrally engaged in the problem identification, definition and solution aspects of the approach (Dick, 2002).

2.10.1.2.

Participatory Action Research

Participatory Action Research is another recognised form of experimental research. It focuses on the effects of the direct actions of practice within a participatory community with the goal of improving the performance quality of the community or an area of concern (Dick, 2002). Action research involves utilising a systematic cyclical method of planning, taking action, observing, evaluating and critical reflecting prior to planning the next cycle (Quilley

et al.

2000). It is a collaborative method to test new ideas and implement action for change and involves direct participation in a dynamic research process (Dick, 2002).

At its core, action research is a way to increase understanding of how change in one’s action or practice can mutually benefit a community or practitioner (Mcniff, 2002). The enhanced involvement of farmers, farmer organisations, and farmer’s advocates of innovation development planning, management and monitoring, evaluation has contributed to a more demand-driven agriculture research and extension agenda of public and private service delivery (Gladwin,

Peterson and Mwale, 2002).

2.10.2.

Training and Visit approach to Agricultural Extension

The Training and Visit system is an extension management system that was developed for the

World Bank (WB) by Benor and James (1977). It was aimed at upgrading the technical content of field extension staff. Proven agricultural practices from international and national research centres were prepared and recommended for practice. They were passed down to the extension organisation’s hierarchy from subject matter specialist to agricultural extensionists. These packages are then passed to the village extension workers who disseminate the information to the farmers (Benor and Harrison, 1977).

16

Irrespective of one’s view of the Training and Visit approach, extension has enhanced its image in developing countries. One of the remarkable achievements of the T&V approach which has not be quantified is that, it has established the importance of Agricultural Extension and the need to manage it effectively (Benett,1999).

The International Fund Agriculture Development (IFAD) (1997) as cited by Mokone, (2005), was introduced into Lesotho in 1990’s under the World Bank‘s Basic Agricultural Support

Programme. It was to be integrated into normal government extension functions in the lowland districts of Lesotho. The motive behind the introduction of this programme was to upgrade technical content of field extension activities, while allowing agents activities to be more predictable and thus more accessible to farmers. The idea was to increase the effectiveness of agricultural extension services through comprehensively structured training delivery and administrative systems (IFAD, 1997).

2.10.3.

Top-down and centralised approach

The Top-down or Blueprint approach corresponds to the conventional way of developing a programme. In this model, research stations generate technologies which are then transferred to extension services through subject matter specialists. Extensionists at districts level plan and develop the programmes and define specific objectives and messages to be disseminated. At the village level, extension workers implement the activities according to fixed work schedules, under close supervision and leadership. Farmers’ involvement is generally not a priority

(Dusseldorp and Zijderveld, 1991).

The Top-down approach has been criticised for various reasons, the most important being uniformity, that is not taking into account the socio-cultural environment, the particular circumstances in which project implementation occurs, and the characteristics of the different clientele groups. Consequently the dissemination of a given technology package takes place without an adequate understanding of the farming systems and diversity of farmers’ problems, potentials, rationales and strategies (Portela, 1990). This method featured quite often during the early development of irrigation schemes where farmers would be informed that their fields had been identified for irrigation development in the early1960’s and 1970’s (MOA, 2002).

17

2.10.4.

Client demand approach

According to Scarborough

et al (

1997) the Client Demand approach is a relatively recent label for a notion that has been debated since individuals began to write about extension as an academic discipline and an education practice. It captures the idea that the information, advice and other services offered by extension professionals should be tailored to the expressed demands of the clients or recipients of the service and not just according to their needs as identified by various stakeholders.

According to Mokone and Steyn, (2005) the Client Demand approach was implemented in

Lesotho in 1986 under the programme of Soil and Water Conservation and Agro-Forestry

(SWACAP). This method was practised in the northern districts of Lesotho namely Botha-Bothe,

Berea, Leribe and Maseru. It was designed and implemented within the existing Ministry of

Agriculture (MOA) structures and programmes. However this programme focused on working with groups and village chiefs, Villages Development Councils (VDC) and community leaders and refrained from working with individual farmers (IFAD, 1997).

According to the literature, one can conclude that irrigation will continue to be more instrumental in addressing poverty in most countries although there are still challenges to be addressed such as economic and other issues. It would appear that most irrigation projects in

Lesotho have been imposed on people, hence the limited success.

18

CHAPTER 3

METHODOLOGY

3.1.

Sources of information

Information used to complete this study was acquired from both secondary and primary sources.

Secondary sources included published and unpublished sources, periodicals, dissertations and theses reports from research institutions, conference papers, textbooks, journals, articles, the internet and library reference services. Primary data was gathered by means of formal survey questionnaires. The respondents included farmers on irrigation schemes, extensionists, and some irrigation engineers who are working with extensionists for the Department of Horticulture,

Forestry and Land Reclamation.

3.2.

Choice of study area

In an effort to be representative of the major irrigation schemes in Lesotho, four study areas were chosen. These four study areas are situated in the three major catchments of Lesotho namely, the

Senqu, Makhaleng and Mohokare catchments. The four study areas are Mafeteng, Quthing,

Mohale’s Hoek and Maseru districts. Three of the named districts are located on the southern part of Lesotho and are characterised by duplex soils and semi-arid conditions. Without irrigation, crop farming in these areas is highly impossible, although most of the arable land is situated in these areas.

The four research areas were selected because they represent the major cropping areas and show the highest agricultural potential due to the relative abundance of arable land (situated in the lowlands) (Agricultural Census, 1996). However, there are a number of challenges to be dealt with in these districts. Lack of capital, poor market outlets, inefficient extension services and poor soils as reflected on the findings of this research are among the important challenges needing attention.

19

3.3.

Design and formulation of the questionnaire

Two questionnaires were designed to collect information from the farmers and extensionists respectively. The questionnaire developed for collecting data from the farmers consisted of two parts. The first focused on the gathering of demographic information while the second part focused on competences, attitudes, cropping systems, cultivation practices, crop and irrigation management and the economic status of the farmers in relation to agricultural production and irrigation. The questionnaire was tested in Maseru with farmers and no amendments were necessary. The same format and procedure was followed with the designing and testing of the questionnaire for extension workers. The respondents were interviewed using structured openended and closed questions.

3.4.

Sampling procedures

The target populations were the irrigation farmers and their extension workers from the four study areas. The population was divided into four strata based on the four districts. From each stratum a range of 36 to 38 farmers were randomly identified and interviewed, regardless of the type of irrigation found in their area. This lead to the total number of 153 farmers which was slightly less than the original plan as 170 farmers were targeted. Six to seven (6 to 7) extensionists were interviewed in each district making a total of 31 which was also slightly less than the original plan as 50 extensionists were targeted. The independent samples from which information was obtained were later combined to identify common problems and differences in the four study areas. The reason for selecting this sampling technique was that more precise data is easily obtained without deep expenses.

3.5.

Data Collection

Data collection commenced in November 2008 and ended in March 2009. No enumerators were used. The Ministry of Agriculture (Lesotho) organised transport for data collection in the named four districts. Some extensionists were provided by the Ministry to work as guides to the irrigation areas in the districts.

20

3.6.

Data analysis

The questionnaires were coded for computer analysis and the Department of Statistics of the

University of Pretoria took the lead in the analysis of the data. The Statistical Analysis System was used to analyse the data. The dominant analysis of data was descriptive.

21

CHAPTER 4

DESCRIPTION OF THE STUDY AREAS

4.1. Introduction

The Kingdom of Lesotho is situated at the highest part of the Drakensberg escapement. Lesotho is divided into four ecological regions based on elevation and Agro-climatology, namely the

Lowlands, Senqu River valley, the foothills and the mountains. The climate in Lesotho is generally temperate. The highland areas experience severe winters with ground frost occurring approximately 200 days per annum.

Lesotho has ten local districts which are grouped as the southern and the northern districts. There is a great variability of climate, soils and vegetation found between the southern and northern districts. (Lesotho Agricultural Report, 1996). The four southern districts identified for the study are Maseru, Mafeteng, Mohale’shoek and Quthing.

4.2.

Common challenges

Soil degradation, poor grazing systems and food shortages count among the greatest challenges facing these districts. The southern districts occupy the biggest portion of both the arable and rangeland farming but crop production and animal husbandry are at risk in these districts due to severe soil erosions and poor grazing systems (Lesotho Agricultural Report, 1996).

4.3.

Maseru district

Maseru is one of the ten districts of Lesotho. It is surrounded by the districts of Berea, Thaba-

Tseka, Mohale’shoek and Mafeteng. Maseru is divided into three agro ecological zones namely the lowlands, Foothills and the Mountains. It has an elevation ranging from 1200 to 1800 metres in the Lowlands, 1800 to 2300 metres in the Foothills and 2 300 to 3 000 metres in the

Mountains. It has five peaks namely Qeme (2 027 m), Thaba-Telle (2 533 m), Thabana-li-’mele

(2 660 m), Machache (2 886),Thaba-Putsoa (3 096 m) and two well-known passes called Blue

Mountain and Bushmen’s passes (Ministry of Agriculture Cooperatives and Land Reclamation

March 2002).

22

The total geographical area for the District is 427 900 hectares. Before the creation and development of the Thaba-Tseka district, the Maseru District was the largest in the country accounting for 20.4% of the total area. The district now accounts for only 14.1% of the total area.

Approximately 41% (17 5439 hectares) of this is the Mountains, 31% (13 2649 hectares the

Foothills and 28% (119 812 hectares) the Lowlands.

4.3.1.

Population

The total population of the Maseru district during the 1996 census was 39 3154 residents. 52% of this population represented females. Approximately 9% of this population resided in the

Mountains, 19% (75 567) in the Foothills and 72% (28 3847) in the Lowlands. The average population density for the District as a whole is 92 people per square kilometre. Of the total population, 86% are fulltime permanent residents while 14% are classified as absent. The annual growth rate of the Maseru District is 2.1% (Bureau of Statistics 1996).

Table 4.1 Population distribution

Age range in years

% of population

0-9

25%

10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69

25% 18% 13% 9% 5% 3%

>70

2%

Source: Bureau of Statistics (1996)

Maseru city has 13 7837 residents (7% of the national population) and is the largest urban centre in Lesotho. The rural population of Maseru district is reported as 215 500. The rural population represents 54.8 % of the total population of the Maseru district as represented in Table 4.2 in

(1996).

Table 4.2 Summary of population data for the Maseru district

Urban

Rural

Total

Population for Maseru district

Population Lowlands Foothills

178814

214340

393 154

166 447

117 400

283 847

Source: Bureau of Statistics 1996

12 367

63 200

75 567

Mountains

-

33 740

33 740

23

The total number of households in the Maseru district is quoted as 83 961 of which 63 691 (76%) are found in the Lowlands, 13 831 (16%) in the Foothills and 6 439 (8%) in the Mountains. The average household size is 5 with households tending to be slightly larger in the foothills and the mountains. 31% of these households are female headed. Out of the 52 858 rural households,

47 000 (89%) are engaged in agriculture while 5 858 (11%) are engaged in non-agricultural activities. For the 47 000 households engaged in agriculture in Maseru district 58% are found in the Lowlands, (27%) in the Foothills and (15%) in the Mountains (Agricultural Census,

1999/2000).

4.3.2.

Climate

Maseru district is hot in summer with mean maximum temperatures ranging between 22 and

31degrees Celsius. The hottest areas are in the Lowlands while the Foothills and the Mountains are considerably cooler. Winter temperature ranges between cold in the Lowlands to very cold in the Foothills and Mountains. The mean minimum temperature ranges from zero to six degrees

Celsius. The hottest temperatures occur during November, December and January. During the winter months frosts are common as indicated in Table 4.3.The daily mean hours sunshine throughout the year fluctuates from a minimum of 6.6 to a maximum of 10.3 hours per day.

Table 4.3 Monthly mean maximum and minimum temperatures

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr

Mean Maximum Temperatures

1995

1996

29.8 31.1 25.5

27.9 25.8 25.3

May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov

22.8 18.8 16.8 16.5 20.4 25.4 24.6 25.3

21.5 18.7 17.4 13.7 17.0 22.7 24.8 23.3

Average 28.8 28.4 25.4

Mean Minimum Temperatures

22.1 18.7 17.1 15.1 18.7 24.0 24.7 24.3

Dec

24.4

27.5

25.9

1995

1996

15.8 15.5 11.0 7.8

15.9 14.8 12.1 8.3

Average 15.8 15.1 11.5 8.0

1.6

6.1

3.8

Source: Meteorology Lesotho, (1995-96)

0.1 0.6

0.5 0.1

0.3 0.3.

3.1

1.8

2.4

6.9 8.0

6.5 10.9

6.7 9.4

10.9 -

11.4 13.8

11.1 13.8

24

Rainfall in the Maseru district is moderate with a minimum of 500mm per annum in the

Lowlands and maximum of 1000 mm in the Mountains. The Foothills receive between 800 and

1000 mm except the areas between Machache peak and Blue Mountain pass where the annual rainfall is above 1000 mm. The rainy season starts in September and extends until March. The distribution of rainfall is uniform throughout the district. During the winter months the foothills and Mountains commonly experience snowfalls. Most of the rainfall happens in the summer months with the least rainfall falling in July.

4.3.3.

Land distribution in the Maseru district

Approximately 4% (17 116 hectares) of the Maseru district is classified as good arable land although mixed farming can be practised on close to 25% of the area (106 975). Most of the arable land is found in the Lowlands with only pockets of arable land found in the Foothills and the Mountains.

4.3.3.1.

Soil classifications/nomenclature

The Maseru district has seven main soil associations based on geographical considerations.

The Lowlands

Sephula-Maseru-Berea (gullied land)

Berea-Matela-Ntsi

Leribe-Berea-Sephula

Khabos-Bela-Berea

The Foothills

Ralebese-Matsaba-Machache

The Mountains

Matsana-Fusi-Popa

Popa-Rock Land (Basalt)-Matsana.

In general, the soils are grayish brown/dark brown to black loam, moderately acidic pH (5.3 to

6.0) in the Lowlands and moderately alkaline (6.0 to 8.2) in the foothills and mountains

(Agricultural census Lesotho, 1999/2000).

The following land distribution occurs in the Maseru district :

25

Table 4.4 Land use

Total area

Good arable land

Mixed farming

427 900 ha

17 116 ha

106 975 ha

100%

04%

25%

4.3.4.

Agriculture

The major crops produced in the Maseru district vary and include maize, sorghum, beans, wheat, peas and vegetables. Maize is the staple food for the Basotho and is the most popular crop during the summer. Winter crops include wheat, barley, peas, oats and winter vegetables. Livestock farming is considered to be important in this district especially towards the mountainous regions

(Agricultural Census Lesotho 1999/2000).

4.3.5.

Irrigation potential

According to the Department of Water Affairs (1978) there are four main rivers which pass through this district and these are the main sources of water for domestic use and irrigation.

These are the Mohokare, the Makhaleng, the Maletsunyane and the Phuthiatsana Rivers. The river water supply is supplemented by boreholes and dams around the district. However rivers remain the most important sources of water in this district. All these rivers flow from the mountainous catchments situated in the northern districts of the country towards the southern part.

4.3.5.1.

Monthly flows in Million Cubic metres of Mohokare and Phuthiatsana, (2005-2006)

A.

River: Mohokare (Caledon

).

Location: Ha Mohloka-qala.

Station Number: CG39.

Coordinates: Latitude:27 o

20’00’’; Longitude: 29 o

00’00’’

26

Table 4.5 Mohokare flow

Month Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep

2005 34.9 23.9 30.2 264.1 467.2

2006 21.6 240.4 121.4

137 69.2

37.8 10.57 4.02

219 12.7

3.7 1.74

13

14 1.6 -

65 15.7

-

Aver 28.3 132.1 75.8 150.9 239 70.4 36.5 110 13.4 7.3 65 15.7

Total

1352

457

945

Source: Water Affairs and Rights, (2006)

The Mohokare River is the lawful/ official boarder-line between Lesotho and Republic of South

Africa. According to Table 4.4 the Mohokare River has good flows from November up to May.

During this time farmers have ample water for irrigation.

B. River: Phuthiatsana

Location: Masianokeng

Station Number 40 :

Coordinates: Latitude: 28 o 21’00’’; Longitude: 30 o 00’00

Phuthiatsana River is situated South of Maseru town, a few kilometres from the city centre, estimated to be less than 10 kilometres away. Irrigation is mostly done from this river because it is closer to town where there are market opportunities.

Table 4.6 Phuthiatsana flow

Month Oct

2005

Nov

2.91 3.92

2006

Aver

Dec

2.57

Jan

7.62

6.75 26.86 14.13 6.45

Feb

5.25

Mar

3.58

Apr

4.19

May

3.53

Jun

19.43 24.90 21.34 18.32 9.93

3.79

Jul Aug Sep

6.58 22.24 10.23

3.31 2.89 -

9.66 30.78 16.70 14.07 24.68 28.48 25.15 21.85 13.72 9.89 25.13 10.23

Source: Water Affairs and Rights (2006).

According to the Water Resource Act of 1978, the Department of Water Affairs Maseru has power to allocate water permits to applicants who want to use water in large quantities either for personal use or for the benefit of the community. This is due to the fact that some people may use a lot of water for their own benefit while the entire community is suffering; therefore control of water rights is appropriate. The Department also tests the quality of water before allocation for domestic or irrigation use is permitted.

27

4.3.6.

Number of irrigation schemes in the Maseru district

It is being said that a number of irrigation schemes and irrigation plots for individuals have not been registered with the Department of Water Affairs and Rights for the control of water use.

According to the Department of Agriculture in Maseru (2005/2006) only five irrigation schemes have been developed under low cost gravity fed irrigation system namely: Masianokeng, St

Michael, Likotsi, Semphetenyane, and Qeme.

Table 4.7 Irrigation schemes according to the Ministry of Agriculture

PLACE USER AREA (ha)

Makhoati

Mahlabatheng

Sofonia

Masianokeng

TYPE SOURCE OF

WATER

Dam Bucket system

Bucket system Ground water

Bucket system Dam

Sprinkler Irrigation Phuthiatsana River

Individual

Individual

1.40

2.00

10.36

Community 1.00

St. Michael

Likotsi

Semphetenyane

Qeme

Tonki

Sprinkler Irrigation -

Sprinkler Irrigation -

Sprinkler Irrigation Phuthiatsana River

Sprinkler Irrigation

Bucket Spring

Individual

Individual

Individual

1.20

2.00

2.00

1.20

2.00

Mosalla

TOTAL

Sprinkler irrigation Phuthiatsana River Individual 2.00

25.16

(Sources: FAO 2002)

4.4.

Mafeteng district

Mafeteng has a relatively mild climate, compared to the other districts in Lesotho. On average there are 180 days of summer with mean daily temperatures exceeding 14 degrees Celsius. The average number of frost days is 127 in the Lowlands and 271days in the Highlands. Late frosts during September or early frosts during March and April can cause crop damage particularly in the higher areas. The occurrence of hail impacts negatively on crop production and fruit trees

(Agricultural Policy and Capacity Building Project, 2001).

28

Table 4.8 Risk periods for farming from adverse weather conditions in the Mafeteng district

Drought

Jan

Frost

Snow

Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Hail

Source: Meteorology Lesotho (1995-96)

4.4.1.

Topography of the land

The district is predominantly situated in the Lowlands (82%), with 15% of the area in the

Foothills and 3% in the Mountains. Altitude varies from 1 300 to 2 900 metres above sea level.

Soils of the Lowland areas are primarily Alfisols, consisting of duplex or clay pan soils, derived from the decay of the sedimentary rocks.

Water logging is a common problem in the district as water is unable to penetrate compacted layers of the duplex soils. However the soils in the Foothills are more generally fertile. Soil erosion is a major problem in the Mafeteng district. Gullies are more visible signs of excessive erosion. Sheet erosion is the dominant form of erosion in this district. According to the

1999/2000 Agricultural Census, some 46% of arable land in the Mafeteng suffers from severe erosion.

4.4.2.

Land use

Table 4.8 gives an indication of the types and quality of land available in the district. Mafeteng has the greatest amount of arable land in the country but the quality of the land is generally poor only 33% being suitable for semi-intensive crop production.

29

Table 4.9 Land use

Agriculture potential

Suitable for cultivation

Suitable for cultivation

Suitable for grazing

Semi-intensive

Extensive

Small stock

Area in hectares

68 700

54 800

800

Suitable for grazing

Suitable for graze & agric

Unsuitable for agric

Large stock

-

19 900

24 900

- 39 900

Total

-

Source: Physical Planning Department (1997)

209 000

4.4.3. Sources of water

Area as % of total

32.90

26.20

0.38

9.50

11.90

19.10

100.00

The Mafeteng district lies within the catchment areas of the Mohokare and Makhaleng Rivers.

Communities rely on the collection of surface water and water from the natural springs.

Increasingly these sources are becoming over utilised and many boreholes have been sunk, mainly in the Lowlands. Mafeteng has some 22% of the total number of boreholes in Lesotho.

The average yield of the boreholes is about 41%. There are very few farmers employing irrigation on a large scale. However there is a potential for intensive use of water for irrigation.

(Water Affairs and Rights, 2006).

30

Table 4.10 Irrigation schemes (Mafeteng)

PLACE TYPE SOURCE OF WATER USER AREA

Ribaneng

Sekameng

Makhaleng

Motsekuoa

Thabana-Morena

Thabana-Morena

Makoabating

Malumeng

Sekoati

Tsakholo

Phechela

Wepener Road

Ramangatana

Heremoni

Ha-Oni

Hospital Area

Total

Sprinkler Makhaleng River

Sprinkler Irrigation Caledon River

Sprinkler Irrigation Caledon River

Sprinkler Irrigation Tsoaing River

Sprinkler Irrigation River

Sprinkler Irrigation River

Sprinkler Irrigation -

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation Duma Dam

Furrow Irrigation

Gravity fed hoses Dam

Sprinkler Irrigation Duma Dam

Sprinkler Irrigation -

Sprinkler Irrigation Dam

Sprinkler irrigation Dam

Furrow Irrigation Raleting dam

Community

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

Community

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

Project

Individual

1.20

0.90

1.20

8.00

1.20

13.00

10.00

3.60

4.00

1.40

2.40

2.00

1.00

3.00

1.50

0.84

55.24

Source: FAO (2002)

4.5.

Mohale’shoek district

This district is situated to the south of the Maseru and the Mafeteng districts. The first known inhabitants of the district were San Bushmen. During the 17 th

to 19 th

centuries, the Bahalanga (a clan of the Basotho) moved from the Pitseng area and established a base at Thabana-Morena, just north of the present Mohale’shoek town. The most famous chief at that time was Moorosi, born in 1795, at Lifateng in Makhaleng. At this time Mohale’shoek was called Kubake (Mohale’shoek

District Economic Strategic, 2002/2007).

31

The early history of the district was marked by conflict between different groups fighting for land and domination of the territory, including Sotho speaking clans, the Ndebele, the Xhosa, the

San Bushman, the Boers and the British. Some marked events during the 20 th

century include:

A major drought in 1933 (marked by red dust storms and plagues of locusts).

In 1949/51 (with red snow, livestock died and some people starved to death) also in 1968,

1994 and 1997.

In 1940-48 there was a severe outbreak of small pox causing many people to die.

Some developments started in 1970 during which some roads were constructed. Contours banks were also started at the same time to control soil erosion. Agricultural extension started during the 1960’s (Mohale’shoek District Economic Strategic 2002/2007).

4.5.1.

Climate

Drought, frost, snow and hail constitute major risks for agriculture in the Mohale’shoek district.

Mohale’shoek is known to experience severe droughts. Rainfall occurs during summer time but is extremely variable in quantity and time. District rainfall totals for the period 1995 to 1998 varied between 426mm in 1995 and 853mm in 1998. The Lowlands are significantly drier than the highlands. Although the Foothills and the Mountains receive higher rainfall, dry land cropping is difficult in these areas (Agricultural Census Mohale’shoek, 1995/97).

Table 4.11 Rainfall of Mohale’shoek district 1995-97

1995

1996

1997

Jan

60

104

200

Average 121

Feb

25

25

150

Mar Apr

104

53

155

66.6 104

50

48

60

May Jun

45

45

48

52.6 46

13

11

47

Jul

13

0

30

Aug Sep

15

5

0

23.6 14.3 6.6

43

10

35

Oct

48

30

54

29.3 44

Nov Dec

48

48

125

98

270

130

73.3 166

Source: Meteorology Lesotho (1995-96)

32

Table 4.12 Risk periods for farming due to adverse weather conditions in

Mohale’s Hoek

Lowlands

Drought

Frost

Hail

Wind

Foothills

Drought

Frost

Snow

Wind

Jan Feb Mar Apr

Mountains

Drought

Frost

Snow

Wind

Source: Meteorology Lesotho (1995-96)

May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

4.5.2.

Land use

As it is the case in other districts, this district is classified into Lowlands, Foothills, Senqu River valley and Mountains.

Table 4.13 Land use in Mohale’s Hoek district

Area (ha)

% Of total area

Lowlands

81 768

23

Foothills

99 544

28

Source: Physical Planning Department (1997)

Mountains

135 096

38

Senqu Valley

39 107

11

Total

355 515

100

Although Mohale’s Hoek is often seen as a Lowland district, only 23% of the area is officially classified as Lowlands. According to the Physical Planning Department (1997), only 21% of the land is suitable for crop production. The department further indicates that the area of land available for crop production has dropped from 637 164km

2

to 511 662km

2

in 1986 and 1996 due to gulley erosion and residential occupation.

33

Table: 4.14 Arable land in Mohale’s Hoek district

Area (ha)

% of total area

Arable

76 429

21

Grazing

248 615

70

Source: Physical Planning Department (1997)

Other

30 471

9

Total

355 515

100

4.5.3.

Water Sources

Several major river systems are found in this district. The Senqu River forms the southern border against the Quthing district. The Ketane, Maletsunyane, Senqunyane and Qabane rivers are the major tributaries of Senqu. Mohale’s Hoek is one of the districts in Lesotho with the highest water resources. This area has the potential for more intensive use of water for irrigation (Water

Affairs and Rights, 2005/2006).

Table 4.15

PLACE

Irrigation schemes in Mohale’s Hoek

TYPE SOURCE OF WATER USER AREA

Ha khets’ane

Ketane

Maqhena

Thaba-Ts’oeu

Mekaling

Maphutseng

Ha mahlele

Makhaleng

Ha T’sepo

Qalakhaleng

TOTAL

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation

River

-

River

Dam

Dam

Maphutseng River

-

Makhaleng River

Dam

Potsane River

Individual

-

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

2.85

3.00

1.00

4.80

0.84

3.00

4.00

3.00

10.00

6.00

38.49

Source: FAO (2002)

34

4.6.

Quthing district

The Quthing district is situated in the far south of Lesotho and lies in the Mountains and Senqu river valley agro-ecological zones (FAO, 2005/06). San Bushmen were the first known inhabitants of the Quthing district before being assimilated into the Basotho nation. As in

Mohale’s Hoek, the early history of this district was marked by conflict among different groups fighting for land and domination of the territories. During these wars, there was a gradual move into the mountain areas, following Basotho custom, where new chiefs established their new territories.

Unlike other districts, Quthing has a diverse cultural history. Alongside the Basotho clan there are large number of Baphuthi and Xhosa people who still maintain their own cultures, values and beliefs and their own languages. (Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperatives and Land Reclamation,

2007).

Other remarkable events of the area include the following:

1933: Major drought that resulted in the death of many cattle in this district.

1942: A plague of locusts which heavily fed on the crops causing hunger for many households.

1970: Village government introduced by colonial government.

1980: Great drought and skin disease outbreaks.

1987: Many animals died due to heavy snowfall during September.

Late 1990s: Major outbreaks of stock theft especially between Quthing and the Eastern

Cape.

Quthing District has an area of about 182 000 hectares, with a population estimated at 90 000 people of which 90% are rural based. Crop land in Quthing is limited and rain-fed crop production of the traditional food grains like maize, sorghum and wheat. (IFAD Operations in

Lesotho, 2007).

35

4.6.1.

Climate

Drought, frost, hail and snow pose major risks for agriculture in the Quthing district. Strong winds have also become major problem. Quthing is one of the relatively drier districts in

Lesotho. Rainfall occurs mainly during the summer months but is extremely variable in quantity and timing. Annual rainfall usually ranges between 600 to 800mm per annum (Agricultural

Census, 1996).

The Mountain areas receive a high rainfall but have shorter growing seasons due to prolonged winters. Dry land crop failures due to drought conditions are common. Frost and snow are particular hazards in the district, especially in the mountain areas. Major snowfalls and storms were recorded in 1950 and 1987, which led to the death of many animals (Meteorology, 1996).

Table 4.16 Risk periods for farming from weather conditions in Quthing district

JAN FEB

SENQU VALLEY

Drought

Frost

Hail

MOUNT

AINS

Drought

Frost

Snow

Hail

MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SE OCT NOV DEC

Source: Meteorology Lesotho (1995-96)

4.6.2.

Topography of the land

The district is predominantly mountainous. Some flatter land is found along the Senqu River

Valley and its main tributaries are the Mjanyane, Qomoqomong, Sebapala, Quthing and Qhali

36

rivers. 56% of the district falls in the mountain agro-ecological zones and 44% in the Senqu

Valley.

Table 4. 17 Different agro-ecological zones and Population density of Quthing (1996)

Area (ha)

% of total area

Number of house holds

% of total households

Density (households/ha)

Mountains

161 522

56%

7 258

31%

Source: Physical Planning Department (1997)

4.6.3.

Land use

22

Senqu river Valley

129 218

44%

15 802

69%

8

Total

290 740

100%

23 060

100%

30

According to land use planning studies, only 11% of the land in this district is suitable for crop production.

Table 4.18

Area

Land use in the Quthing district

Arable

32 127

Grazing

23 7786

% of total area 11% 81%

Source: Physical Planning Department (1997)

4.6.4.

Sources of irrigation water in the district

Other

23 764

8%

Total

293 677

100%

The Quthing district lies within the catchment area of the Senqu river which forms the northern boundary of Lesotho with the Republic of South Africa. The Quthing, Sebapala, Qomoqomong,

Qhali and Tele rivers are major tributaries of the Senqu River. There are many other smaller streams, which tend to dry up during winter months. Some areas of wetlands are found on the highland plateaux. An important dam and prominent wetlands (Letseng-la-Letsie) are found in the Mphaki area. While the rivers form major features of the landscape, they are generally not used productively, either for domestic use or for irrigation (IFAD Operations in Lesotho, 2007).

37

Table 4.19

PLACE

Irrigation schemes in the area (Quthing)

TYPE SOURCE OF

WATER

Senqu River. Seaka Sprinkler

Basieng Sprinkler Irrigation Dam

Qomo- Qomong Sprinkler Irrigation River

Tele Bridge

Villa Maria

Sheep stud

TOTAL

Sprinkler Irrigation Tele River

Sprinkler Irrigation Stream

Sprinkler Irrigation River

Source: FAO (2002)

USER AREA(ha)

Individual

Individual

Individual

Individual

R.C.C Mission

Community.

18.00

45.00

15.50

4.00

4.00

3.50

90.00

38

CHAPTER 5

PERSONAL PROFILE OF IRRIGATION FARMERS

5.1.

Introduction

This chapter renders insight into some important personal profiles of irrigation farmers in the four study areas. It also reflects the distribution of land use and major farming systems and styles identified in the areas and levels of education attained by respondents. These factors may have a strong influence on the general performance of irrigation farming in Lesotho. Wilson (1997) indicated that age, education and the length of residency are important factors for explaining participation and performances of farmers. Damianos

and

Giannakopous (2002) suggest that agricultural education and training of farmers can influence farmer’s performance.

5.2.

Gender composition of the respondents

Gender is an aspect considered most important for in agricultural development initiatives.

According to the World Bank (2001) report, land in developing countries is normally allocated to men either through inheritance or traditional kingship laws leaving women marginalised.

Table 5.1

DISTRICTS

Frequency distribution of the respondents according to gender per district

(N=153)

Male Female Total n % n % n %

MASERU

33 89.19 4 10.81 37 24.19

MAFETENG

MOHALE ‘S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

26

25

31

115

70.27

62.50

79.49

75.16

11

15

8

38

29.73

37.50

20.57

24.84

37

40

39

153

24.18

26.15

25.49

100.00

According to the findings in Table 5.1, the majority of irrigation farmers (75%) in this study are men. The distribution of this percentage is such that the majority of male farmers are located in

39

Maseru (89.19%) and Quthing (79.49%) districts respectively. This is presumable so because of the customary law of Lesotho, which stipulates males as the ones to be allocated land.

5.3.

Educational qualification

Education is a factor that is believed to influence individuals in the decision making processes. It is believed that those who have acquired a good educational background, mostly make better informed decisions. Ramji, Neupane and Shaha, (2002) and Tassew, (2004) indicated that farmers who have attained higher levels of educational are more likely to adopt new technologies or practices. Sidibe (2005) indicates that young members of any society have a greater chance of absorbing and applying new knowledge.

The education system in Lesotho comprises of a certificate for primary school, which is awarded after studying for 1 to 7 years. A junior secondary certificate is awarded after schooling for 8 to

10 years. After 11 to 12 years a (C.O.S.C) Cambridge Overseas School certificate (High School) is awarded which is equivalent to the South African Grade 12.

Table 5.2 Frequency distribution of educational qualification of respondents according to various age categories (N=143)

EDUCATIONAL

LEVELS

PRIMARY

SECONDARY

HIGH SCHOOL

TERTIARY

TOTAL

(n)

< 40

(%)

AGE CATEGORIES IN YEARS

40-49 50-59

(n) (%) (n) (%)

0

5

7

10

22

0

10.42

4.9

6.99

15.38

10

12

18

9

49

28.57

25.00

12.6

6.29

34.3

19

22

9

3

53

54.29

45.83

6.29

2.1

37.06

(n)

6

9

2

2

19

60<

(%)

17.14

18.75

1.4

1.4

13.26

TOTAL

(n)

35

48

36

24

143

(%)

24.48

33.57

25.17

16.78

100.00

Table 5.2 illustrates that a relative high percentage (77%) of farmers younger than 40 years attained High School and tertiary education, while a steep decline in levels of education was found with farmers older than 40 years. This may emanate from the fact that in Lesotho agriculture is perceived as a career for less intelligent people and therefore a high level of education is not required (Qhobela, 2005). Although livelihood status like qualifications are

40

associated with higher household income, skills through training transferred from one generation to another play a vital role in the development of farmers. Farmers with relatively high education levels in general understand the agriculture marketing environment and challenges better than farmers with relative low level of education (Stevens, 2006).

5.4.

Household composition

Size and household composition may directly influence the performance of irrigation farming through the availability of labour for agricultural activities. Big families may generally be associated with large number of potential labour which naturally impacts on the quality of irrigation management (Stevens, 2006). Table 5.3 illustrates that the size of the households ranges between 1 to 11 members with an average size of approximately six members per household.

Table 5.3 Household size and composition (N=146)

Label

Size of the household

Number of adults

N

146

151

Mean

5.8972

3.4172

Std Dev Minimum

2.129366

1.613929

1

1

Maximum

11

8

Number of children 152 2.42105 1.388345 0 6

In general the household composition illustrates a healthy balance between adults and children.

Households with fewer adults and relative more children are more vulnerable to shocks

(Mettrick, 1997).

5.5.

Sources of household income

The household income source is an important factor which influences production decisions taken by a household (Abera, 2003). A lower household income lowers the ability of the household to influence the biophysical condition in which they have to farm as they can afford less external inputs for their production system (Dixon, Gulliver and Gibbin

,

2001). 58% of the households indicate that farming is their main source of income, while 8% are categorised as wage earners where salaries for formal employment are received. Informal business or self-employment (20%) through the running of taxi businesses or local shops is also a very important source of household income.

41

Social grants/ pensioners

Farming

Informal business

14

20

58

Wage-eaners 8

0 10 20 30 40

Percentages (%)

50 60 70

Figure 5.1 Distribution of sources of household income (N=153)

The proportional contribution made by farming to the household income is quiet significant.

46% of the farmers generate income in the category of 41 to 60 percent from farming while 30% of the respondents indicate that farming income proportionally contributes more than 60% of the household income (Table 5.4).

Table 5.4 Proportional contribution derived from farming to household income

(N=128)

Proportional income from farming percentages (%)

<40

41-60

>60

Total

Frequency

31

58

39

128

(%)

24

46

30

100

5.6.

Fulltime or part time farming

Farmers were asked to indicate whether they farm on fulltime or part time bases. 71% of respondents indicated that they are fulltime farmers and of those 86% were farming on relative

42

big farms (15 ha<). The rest were part time farmers who are either employed in government or who own informal businesses (taxi or shop owners). Fulltime farmers are in general involved in one of the following livelihood outcomes namely: improved food security or producing enough agricultural produce to sell. Part time farmers on the other hand are earning off-farm income.

Table 5. 5 Frequency distribution of full time and part time farmers (N=152

)

Respondents

Fulltime farmers

Part time farmers

Total

Frequency missing = 1

Farm size (ha)

n

88

37

<10

%

70.27

29.73

n

8

5

10-15

%

61.50 12

38.46

n

2

15<

%

86

14

125 100.00 13

(df=2,

χ

2

=2, p=0.001)

100.00 14 100 n

Total

%

108

44

71

29

152 100

5.7.

Labour force

Stevens (2006) is of the opinion that irrigation farming often requires very skilful, well trained labour. Therefore labour is perceived as a crucial factor which influences progress in irrigation development and the adoption of new irrigation technologies. 56% of irrigation farmers in

Lesotho use family labour, which usually relates to the objective and scale of farming.

Table 5.6 Frequency distribution of farm labour (N=151)

Type of labour

Family labour

Hired labour

Both

TOTAL

Frequency

84

49

18

151

Percentage

55.63

32.45

11.92

100.00

5.8.

Size of the farm

The size of the farm can significantly influence the potential income of the farm and the performance of irrigation farming. Bigger farms are usually more profit oriented than small sized farms, and farmers are usually in better positions to invest on more sophisticated agricultural technologies.

43

Table 5.7 Frequency distribution of the sizes of farms across the districts (N=126)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

24

36

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Frequency missing = 27

16

36

112 n

<10ha

%

70.59

100.00

80.00

100.00

88.89

n

3

0

3

0

6

10-15ha

%

8.8

0.00

15.00

0.00

4.76

n

7

0

1

0

8

15ha<

%

20.59

0.00

5.00

0.00

6.35

n

34

36

20

36

126

Total

%

26.98

28.57

15.88

28.57

100.00

The majority of farms (89%) are less than 10ha in extent with the highest occurrence of farms larger than 15ha occurring in Maseru. A possible reason for this may be that the Maseru district is more developed in comparison to the other three districts which consequently offer more opportunities for farmers. The majority of farmers in the Maseru district rent land. Generally farmers are not secured in terms of the leasing period as some landowners breach contracts before the expiring dates. This type of ownership inevitably impacts negatively on long term investment optionally required by irrigation farmers.

5.9.

Farming styles

Van der Leeuw (2000) indicates that farming style is an integrating concept that portrays a particular way of practising agriculture. He indicates that farming styles are a composition of complex but integrated set of notions, norms, knowledge and experience held by a particular group of farmers in a specific location.

Various reasons were provided for farming, which include farmers that produce mainly for food security (34%) and those that produce mainly for profit (28%). It is well established in the literature that successfully farming is the most important way in which poverty could be eradicated. Provision of food for people is considered the basic element for the development of the entire world (FOA 2002).

44

Table 5.8 Frequency distribution of reasons for farming (N=142)

Reasons for farming

.

Frequency(n) Percentages (%)

Profit making

Food production

Both

TOTAL

Table 5.9

40

48

54

142

Livelihood systems for irrigation farmers (N=153)

28.16

33.80

38.04

100.00

Age

Size

<40

40-49

50-59

>60

TOTALS

<10

10-15

Profit making

n

15

6

10

9

40

17

4

%

10.56

4.2

6.5

6.3

28.20

13.49

3.2

Food production

n %

19

22

7

0

48

29

0

13.38

15.49

4.9

0

33.70

23

0 n

9

0

12

20

13

54

28

Both

%

6.3

8.5

14.1

9.2

38.1

22.22

0 n

37

22

142

112

6

43

40

Total

Sources of income

>15

TOTAL

Farming

3

24

26

2.3

18.99

16.99

0

29

36

0

23

23.53

1

29

28

0.79

23.01

18

8

126

90

6.36

100

58

Government 1 0.65 7 4.58 5 3.27 13 8

Social grants/pensioners

Informal business

3

6

3.96

2.61

5

20

5.27

13.07

8

10

5.58

6.53

15

32

14

20

TOTAL 36 22.21 68 44.45 49 35.3 153 100

Table 5.9 illustrates that farmers involved in farming for profit also tend to farm on bigger farms

%

30.28

28.17

26.06

15.49

100.00

88.88

4.76

(>10 ha) and rate farming as their most important source of household income (72%). Also farmers younger than 40 years of age tend to farm for profit. Farmers who farm for food production and food security reasons are farming on relatively smaller farms (<10 ha) and 47% of them earn their household income from employment (wage-earners), social grants and pension or informal business (owning taxis and/ or shops). For these farmers, the income sourced from

45

the engagement in off-farm activities is very important. Dixon

et al

(2001) is of the opinion that, apart from farming options, off-farm income is a major contributor of household income of poor farmers.

5.9.1

Livestock farming

Livestock farming plays an important role in Lesotho, mostly in the Mountain areas where livestock is kept as a major source of animal draught power. It is also appreciated as a potential source for cash income. Farmers sometimes irrigate fodder crops to be used for supplementary feeding of their livestock.

Table 5.10

DISTRICTS

Frequency distribution of irrigation farmers keeping livestock (N=152)

.

Keep livestock n %

No livestock n % n

Total

%

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

28

29

34

75.68

78.39

87.18

9

8

5

24.32

21.62

12.82

37

37

39

24.34

24.34

25.66

QUTHING

24 61.54 15 38.46 39 25.66

TOTAL

115 75.66 37 24.34 152 100.00

Table 5.9 illustrates that 76% of the irrigation farmers also keep livestock. Two areas namely

Mohale‘s Hoek and Mafeteng districts showed relatively higher livestock practices, probably due to the suitability of these area for stock farming (because of topography).

5.9.2

Perceived satisfaction with land size and form of ownership

Land ownership poses many problems in irrigation farming as farmers cannot incur long term capital investment due to temporary rental agreements or the lack of full ownership of land.

Although the question of ownership was not included during the preparations and piloting of the questionnaire, it became evitable during data collection that many farmers particularly in the

Maseru district were not satisfied with the current rental agreements because of the informal contracts that usually exist between relevant parties. This factor was identified as a significant stumbling block in potential irrigation development in the area.

46

5.9.3.

Distances travelled between residence and the farm

Distance between the farm and dwellings (homes) may impact on the performance of the irrigation farming in general. It impacts on the management capabilities of the farmer. Table 5.11 indicates the perceived opinions of the respondents regarding this aspect of their farming situation.

Table 5.11

DISTRICTS

Satisfaction of farmers regarding the distances travelled between the farm and the residence (N=153)

Dissatisfied n % n

Fair

% n

Satisfied

% n

Total

%

MASERU

MAFETENG

17

7

45.95

18.92

10

6

27.03

16.22

10

24

27.02

64.87

37

37

24.18

24.18

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

20

1

45

50.00

2.56

29.41

2

9

27

5.00

23.08

17.65

18

29

81

45.00

74.36

52.94

40

39

153

26.15

25.49

100.00

The majority of irrigation farmers (53%) are satisfied with the distances between their residences and their farms. Farmers from Mohale’s Hoek (50%) and Maseru (46%) indicated their dissatisfaction with the current situation due to mainly poor access roads and the topography of the terrain.

Although farming is done on a small scale, it is generally identified as the major source of household income, however, findings point towards the need for revision of a number of presently existing practices such as the land tenure system of the country which does not cater for both men and women equally in the distribution and ownership of land.

47

CHAPTER 6

CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

6.1.

Introduction

Crop production is a laborious activity, which requires thorough planning before implementation. Pereira (1982) asserts that several steps should be considered when doing a comprehensive production farm plan. Availability of the necessary farming equipment for proper soil preparations, cultivar selection, agro-climatic potential of the region and market surveys all form the base of the plan. He further indicates that each cultivar responds in its own way to climate, and success of a given crop in a region depends on finding the appropriate variety to fit the local environment.

Chapter 6 gives an insight of how irrigation farmers in Lesotho approach their crop planning session. It further elaborates on the financial support and satisfactions of farmers concerning such supports.

6.2.

Crops grown in the area

The selection of the correct crop type in irrigation farming is not the only factor to consider but also water productivity. According to Lieu

et al.

(1998) water productivity in crop production systems is the relationship between the water used and the crop produced. Economically less water must be used to produce higher yields. Pereira (1982) illustrates that high water productivity could usually be achieved where high value crops are selected.

48

Cabbage

Maize

Beans

Pumpkin

Butternut

Tomato

Green peper

Carrots

Lucern

Sorghum

Potatoes

Turnip

Beetroot

Onion

0.5

1

0.5

1

0.5

0.5

3

4

5

5

7

8

17

47

0 10 20 30

Percentages (%)

40 50

Figure 6.1. Common crops grown in the area

Figure 6.1 illustrates a wide range of crops that are grown by irrigation farmers in Lesotho. The most common crops include maize (47%) and potatoes (17%). Maize is regarded a staple food in Lesotho hence it is not surprising that it is planted by the majority of irrigation farmers.

Potatoes on the other hand are cash crops which are highly marketable. The rest of the crops are mainly grown for household consumption and for feeding of livestock.

6.3.

Factors affecting the selection of crop type

Crop management entails various activities that should be practised on the farm in order to enhance better performance of crops. Amongst the management factors selected for a more productive farming system are the use of improved (suitable) crop rotations, appropriate sowing dates and effective weed, disease and pest control (Pala and Studer

,

1999). Lacewell

et al.

(1978)

49

illustrate that irrigation alone cannot improve productivity but that there are also other factors which dictate what crop could be grown and also the profitability of such crops e.g. soil type and climate.

Soil type 14

Seed viability 23

Climate

34

Marketing 29

0 5 10 15 20 25

Percentages (%)

30 35 40

Figure 6.2. Criteria used by respondents for selecting a crop (N=153)

Figure 6.2 indicates that 34% of farmers consider climate as the most important factor determining the selection of crops to be grown. This confirms the findings of Pereira (1982) that climate is the most determinant of what should be grown in any region. Secondly 29% of the respondents indicated that appropriate markets are very important in the selection of appropriate crops. The selection of appropriate soil type for crop production is perceived important by only

14% of the respondents. This corresponds with the results in Table 6.3 where 95% of the farmers do not conduct soil analysis before planting crops.

6.3.1.

Use of recommended varieties

According to Khush, (1999), the major factors contributing to the success of the Green

Revolution were the introduction of the high semi-varieties and a combination of both proper irrigation and fertiliser application management. In this study investigations were conducted to detect to what extent farmers use recommended varieties.

50

Table 6.1 The use of recommended varieties (N= 150)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’SHOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Frequency missing = 3 n

31

13

18

32

94

YES

%

83.78

37.14

45.00

84.21

62.67 n

6

22

22

6

56

NO

%

16.22

62.86

55.00

15.79

37.33 n

37

35

40

38

150

Total

%

24.67

23.33

26.67

25.33

100.00

Table 6.3 indicates that 63% of farmers used recommended varieties but they indicated that, it is not through the influence of the extensionists that they used these varieties. Interesting is that the biggest influence regarding this aspect is derived from white farmer friends in the Republic of

South Africa who normally help farmers in Lesotho with the selection of good varieties.

6.3.2

Perceived constraints that prevent the use of recommended varieties

Rogers (1972) asserts that diffusion is not a simple process. It takes time for technology to be diffused and be adopted by farmers. Düvel (1999) indicates that adoption resistance is mostly caused by lack of assurance that recommended innovations will succeed when put into practice.

Quality information can certainly reduce uncertainty, duration of time until adoption and the perceived risk of making wrong decisions (Fischer, Arnold and Gibbs1996). Respondents indicated that the main reasons for not using recommended varieties are in order of priority satisfaction with the current traditional varieties used (48%), the fact that recommended variety seeds are usually more expensive (32%) and thirdly the general lack of technical knowledge about the advantages of using recommended varieties (20%) (Figure 6.3).

51

60

50

40

48

32

30

20

10

20

0

Expensive Satisfied Lack of knowledge

Reasons for not adopting

Reasons for not adopting recommended varieties (N=56) Figure 6.3

6.3.3. Perceptions regarding the advantages of recommended varieties

On the question of how recommended varieties perform in comparison to the traditional varieties, 53% of farmers believe that recommended and traditional varieties perform equally well (Table 6.2). Only 37% of farmers perceived that recommended varieties were performing much better than traditional ones. It is well established in the literature that many trials are conducted at research stations and not on the farms with the farmers. Therefore the research knowledge is localised and not always appropriate for farmers (Farrinton and Martin, 1988). The same reason could be raised for the perception of farmers, since recommended varieties are only tested on Maseru research station. It appears that recommendations are often made based on the performance of the specific varieties tested exclusively in this research station.

52

Table 6.2 Rating of recommended varieties (N=139)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’SHOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

5

2

15

Frequency missing = 14 n

4

4

Worse than traditional

%

11.76

12.12

13.16

5.90

10.79 n

5

Same as traditional

20

23

25

73

%

14.71

60.61

60.53

73.53

52.52 n

25

9

Better than traditional

%

73.53

27.27

10

7

51

26.32

20.59

36.69 n

34

33

38

34

139

Total

%

24.46

23.74

27.34

24.46

100.00

6.4.

Soil preparation and fertilisation practices

Ali,

et al.

(2007) is of the opinion that soil analysis forms a basic principle of irrigation. He further indicates that different types of soils perform differently under different irrigation methods. He argues that properly conducted soil analysis to detect the mineral content of the soils, soil pH and other fundamental components of the soil is a prerequisite for successful irrigation. According to Odeh

et al. (

1998

),

sustained irrigation with the use of poor quality water is commonly practised in many countries which affect the productivity of the soil in general.

6.4.1.

Soil analysis

Table 6.3 indicates that 95% of farmers do not conduct any soil analysis prior to planting. Only a few farmers (15%) located in Maseru conduct some soil analysis. A possible reason for this may be the fact that the only national research station is situated in Maseru district where soil analysis can be done for farmers.

Table 6.3

DISTRICTS

The use of soil analysis for crop production purposes (N=149)

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’SHOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Conducting soil analysis n

5

1

1

0

7

%

14.71

2.70

2.56

0.00

4.7

Not conducting soil analysis n %

29

36

85.29

97.30

38

39

97.44

100.00

142 95.3 n

34

37

39

39

149

Total

%

22.82

24.84

26.17

26.17

100.00

53

6.4.2.

Fertilizers management on the farm

Extensive research has been conducted in fertilizer management on the farm, and most researchers indicate that both irrigation management and fertilizer management are pre- requisites for improving crop productivity (Martinez

et al

. 2002).

6.4.3.

Types of fertilizer used

The type and method of fertiliser application may have a direct influence on irrigation performance on the farm. Some nutrients such as nitrogen are easily leached if excessive amounts of irrigation water is applied, thus affecting crop productivity. Lieu

et al.

(1998) indicate that the maximum crop yield and the highest water productivity could only be achieved under optimum fertiliser management. They further assert that inappropriate fertiliser applications can lead to immense crop losses.

Table 6.4 The distribution of fertilisers use on the farm (N=152)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Frequency missing = 1 n

Organic fertiliser

%

11 29.73

27

22

26

86

75.00

55.00

66.67

56.58 n

Inorganic fertiliser

%

9

1

5

7

22

24.32

2.78

12.5

17.95

14.47 n

17

8

13

6

44

Both

%

45.95

22.22

32.50

15.38

28.95 n

37

36

40

39

152

Total

%

24.34

23.68

26.32

25.66

100.00

Results illustrated in Table 6.4 show that the majority of irrigation farmers (57%) in Lesotho use organic fertilisers rather than chemical fertilisers. This may be attributed to the fact that the majority of farmers as illustrated in Table 5.2 (Chapter 5) enjoy lower levels of education within the age category40< years. Fewer farmers who have attained better education may be exposed to the use of new technology while the majority may still be trapped in traditional practices. Results in Chapter 5 Table 5.9, also illustrates that 75% of irrigation farmers in Lesotho keep livestock.

It is therefore more affordable to use organic fertilisers due to their freely availability.

54

6.4.3.1.

Criteria used for selection of fertilizer

Respondents were asked to identify the main criteria that they take into consideration with the selection of specific fertilisers for crop production. 32% of the respondents are of the opinion that they use organic fertilisers to improve the soil structure. Important criteria like easiness of application (29%), affordability (13%) and composition (19%) are taken into consideration with the selection of specific type of fertiliser.

35

32

30

29

25

20

15

19

13

10

7

5

0

Rich in nutrients Easy to apply Improves soil structure

Affordability

Reasons for specific selections

Combination of various reasons

Figure 6.4. Distribution of possible reasons for selecting types of fertilisers (N=153)

6.4.3.2.

Management of fertilizers

According to the results presented in Table 6.5, 45% of farmers believe that they are doing well in terms of fertiliser management on their farms and are therefore satisfied with their fertilising practices.

55

Table 6.5 Satisfaction of farmers with regard to fertiliser management (N=152)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S

HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Very dissatisfied n %

1 2.70

11 30.56

13 32.50

0 0.00

25 16.45

Frequency missing = 1

Dissatisfied n

0

3

0

0

3

%

0.00

8.33

0.00

0.00

2.00

Moderate n

15

15

20

6

56

%

40.54

41.67

50.00

15.38

36.82

Satisfied n

0

2

0

7

9

%

0.00

5.56

0.00

Very satisfied n %

21 56.76

5

7

13.89

17.50

17.95 26 66.67

5.92 n

37

36

40

39

59 38.81 152

Total

%

24.30

23.70

26.30

25.70

100.00

Only 18% of respondents indicated their dissatisfaction with fertiliser practices, which corresponds with the findings of Düvel (1970) that there is a tendency that farmers often overrate their performances due to the lack of necessary knowledge

.

6.5.

AVAILABILITY OF FARMING EQUIPMENT

Table. 6.6 illustrates that a relatively high percentage (57%) of irrigation farmers in Lesotho own farming equipment such as tractors for the cultivation of land whereas 14% are engaged in hiring contractors. Oxen are the main source of traction in Lesotho and 29% of the respondents use animal traction for sowing, harvesting, processing and transportation. Panin and Ellis, (1992) assert that draft animal power is potentially an appropriate technology for emerging farmers.

They further indicate that animals like cattle, donkeys and horses could be used for almost all operations on the farm.

Table 6.6 Distribution of methods used to cultivate land (N=152)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Availability of equipment used to cultivate the land

Owning tractor n %

11

27

29.73

75.00

Hire a tractor n

9

1

%

24.32

2.8

Animal traction n

17

8

%

45.95

22.22

Total n

37

36

22

26

55.00

66.00

5

7

12.5

17.95

13

6

32.50

15.38

40

39

86 56.58 22 14.47 44 28.95 152

%

24.34

23.68

26.32

25.66

100.00

56

6.6.

Diseases and weed management

According to Adigun, Lagote and Karikari (1991), weeding of irrigation land is an important factor that determines crop production. It is pointless to engage in an expensive exercise like irrigation if weeding is not taken seriously by farmers. They further indicated that inappropriate weeding management can lead to heavy losses in crop production.

6.6.1.

Methods of weeding

The majority of irrigation farmers in Lesotho (87%) use hoeing as the main method of controlling weeds, while only 10% of farmers apply chemical control. A possible reason for this distribution may be that farming in Lesotho is done mostly on a small scale as illustrated in

Chapter 5 and that household members can engage themselves in weed control exercises. The use of chemical weed control is generally perceived as expensive.

50

40

30

20

10

0

100

90

80

70

60

1

87

2

10

Mowing Hoeing Biological control Chemical control

Weed control methods

Figure 6.5 Distribution of weeding methods in Lesotho (N=153)

6.6.2.

Diseases and pests

Diseases and pests may occur at different stages during the plant lifecycle. This may affect crop production and influence the performance of irrigation activities. Duniway (1983) indicates that epidemics of root and crown rot caused by phytophthora fungal species are largely determined

57

by climate, soil conditions, rainfall and soil moisture status. Table 6.7 illustrates that 54% of farmers experience pest and disease problems after planting their summer crops. The assumption is that, this is the time when temperatures start to increase and become conducive for diseases and pests to become activate. The same scenario was identified with winter crops where 51% of farmers experienced problems after planting. Farmers mainly experience disease and pest problems after planting.

Table 6.7 Distribution of diseases and pests during summer and winter seasons

(N=153)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Frequency Missing = 1

Summer Production Season

Pre-planting Post-planting n

11

18

19

22

%

29.73

48.65

47.50

56.41

n

26

19

21

17

%

70.27

51.35

52.50

70 45.75 83

Winter Production Season

Pre-planting

43.58

54.25

Post-planting n

13

18

18

26

75

%

36.11

48.65

45.00

66.67

49.34 n

23

19

22

13

77

%

63.89

51.35

55.00

33.33

50.66

TOTAL n

37

37

40

39

153

%

24.18

24.18

26.15

25.49

100.00

TOTAL n

36

37

40

39

152

%

23.68

24.34

26.32

25.66

100.00

6.7.

IRRIGATION WATER MANAGEMENT

This section renders insight into irrigation methods applied in various areas and indicates how irrigation management is being carried out on farms. Investigations on sources of water and how water is being distributed from the sources to the fields forms part of this discussion.

58

6.7.1.

Water source for irrigation

The source of irrigation water is important in determining the irrigation method to be selected.

This has to happen before farmers can engage in irrigation activities. The study revealed that

65% of farmers use rivers as their water sources for irrigation. Most of these farmers are based in the Maseru and Quthing districts respectively. The dams used do not have specific names except for the Duma dam in the Mafeteng district. Common rivers that cut across these districts are the

Mohokare, Phuthiatsana, Senqu and Makhaleng rivers. Being a mountainous country, Lesotho has big valleys which retain and a lot of water.

Table 6.8 Sources of irrigation water (N=153)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Table 6.9 n

DAMS

54

%

2

11

18

4

35

RIVERS n

30

21

20

28

99

%

20

14

13

18

65 n

BORE

HOLE

%

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00 n

33

38

48

34

Total

153

%

22

25

31

22

100

Sources of irrigation water and the adoption of irrigation methods (N=146)

Water source

Dams

River

Both

Total

Sprinkler n %

18 50

67

13

98 n

18

Furrow

%

50

80.7

48.2

67

16

14

19.28

51.85

48 33

(df= 2,

χ

2

=16, p= 0.0003)

n

36

27

83

146

Total

%

24

19

57

100

The decision to adopt a particular technology is influenced by a number of factors which are categorised as socio-economic background, institutional factors, agro-ecological zones and the characteristics of attributes of the technology (Karami and Rezai-moghaddam, 2002). The study revealed that there is a significant relation between the source of water and the adoption of irrigation method (df= 2,

χ

2

=16, p= 0.0003). 81% of the farmers who use rivers as the main source of water adopt sprinkler irrigation method.

59

6.7.2.

Water allocation and charging

The World Meteorology Organisation (2007) asserts that water is a scarce resource which needs to be used with care, to ensure sustainable development for all users. Water is not only used for irrigation purposes since there are other industries in Lesotho such as mining which cannot run in the absence of water. This requires proper allocation of water to all users.

According to a UN Report (1980) the fundamental role of water allocation and pricing is to distribute this limited resource equitably to all consumers which should in return influence the efficiency of water use and fair distribution among users. Frank (2010) illustrates that in order to promote efficient use of irrigation water, it is imperative that irrigators pay water levies based on their actual water consumption and not on their water allocation. In Lesotho irrigation farmers do not receive an allocation of water to irrigate except a few farmers located in Maseru and

Mohale’shoek. 99 % of farmers pump water freely from rivers for irrigation purposes. It is therefore evident from these results that farmers do not pay water charges in Lesotho.

Table 6.10 Distribution of units of water allocated to the farmers (N=144)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Frequency Missing = 9

0

1

0

Water allocated n

1

%

2.90

0.00

2.63

0.00

2 1.39

Not allocated n

34

36

37

35

142

%

97.14

100.00

97.37

100.00

98.61 n

35

36

38

35

144

Total

%

24.31

25.00

26.39

24.31

100.00

6.7.3.

Source used for conveyance of irrigation water to irrigation fields

Table 6.11 illustrates that 54% of farmers use diesel engines to pump water from the rivers to their fields while 40% of farmers use gravitational methods. A minority of respondents use electricity as power source due to the limited availability of electricity in the rural areas.

60

Table 6.11

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

QUTHING

TOTAL

Source used for conveyance of irrigation water from the sources to the irrigation field (N=153)

MOHALE’S HOEK

GRAVITY n

4

11

31

16

62

%

2.61

7.19

20.00

11.00

40.52

Energy source

WATER

PUMPS/DIESEL n

25

%

16.00

26

8

20

79

17.00

5.23

13.00

51.63

ELECTRICITY n

10

1

0

0

11

%

6.54

0.65

0.00

0.00

7.85

Total n

39

38

39

%

25

25

26

36 24

153 100

6.7.4.

Irrigation methods

Irrigation technology has the potential to dramatically improve water use efficiency in crop production. However, due to increased complexity and variation in irrigation technologies available farmers face the challenge of having to make rational decision when selecting new irrigation methods. Diversity of social, economic and natural factors influence the adoption of irrigation technologies making such decisions difficult (Karami and Rezai-Moghaddam, 2002).

Irrigation farmers in Lesotho make use of either sprinkler, drip, furrow or flood irrigation. 64% of farmers prefer sprinkler irrigtion compared to other irrgation methods. This method is very common in Maseru and Quthing. 31% of the farmers, mostly from Mohale’shoek and Mafeteng use furrow irrigation. Other irrigation methods include the use of perforated hose pipes and basin irrigation.

Table 6.12

DISTRICT

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S

HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Distribution of irigation methods in specified areas (N=153)

Sprinkler

n

%

32

15

12

39 25.50 1

98

20.9

9.80

7.84

64.4

n

0

0

0

1

Drip

%

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.70

0.70

Furrow

n %

5 3.27 n

Flood

%

0

22 14.40 0

21 13.70 1

0 0.00 0

48 31.00 1

0.00

0.00

0.65

0.00

0.65

Others

n

0

0

5

0

5

%

0.00

0.00

3.30

0.00

Total

n

37

37

39

40

%

25

24

25

26

3.25 153 100

61

6.7.4.1.

Criteria for selection of irrigation methods

Each irrigation method has its own set of characteristics that need to be taken into account with the selection of specific irrigation type such as costs, ease of irrigation, water distribution and irrigation efficiency. Furthermore, factors such as soil type, size of farm and topography of the land also influence the selection of irrigation methods. (Karami and Rezai-Moghaddam, 2002).

Caviglia and Kahn (2001) indicate that adoption of a given technology is a function of individual’s socio-economic situation, institutional factors, agro-ecological zones and the characteristics of the technology.

Table 6.13 indicates that 51% of the farmers selected a specific irrigation method based on the time they could save with a specific irrigation system. 41% of the respondents indicated that the cost of the specific irrigation method is important in the selection of irrigation method.

Table 6.13 Distribution for criteria used in selecting irrigation methods (N=153)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

It saves time n

20

22

% n

Cheap

%

13.07 16 10.46

14.38 12 7.80

Not labour intensive n

0

0

%

0.65

0.00

Easy to manage n

2

0

%

1.31

0.00

Common in the area n

6

0

%

3.54

0.00

n

44

34

Total

%

29

22

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S

HOEK

QUTHING

11

25

7.19

16.34

30 19.61

4 2.61

3

0

1.96

0.00

0

2

0.65

1.31

0

0

0.00

0.00

44

31

29

20

TOTAL

78 51 62 41 3 2 4 3 6 3 153 100

Table 6.14 illustrates that there is a significant relationship between farm sizes and the irrigation technology adopted (df=1, χ2 = 6, p=0.01). All the large scale irrigation farmers prefer to use sprinkler irrigation method, while farms smaller than 10 hacters mainly use furrow irrigation.

Table 6.14 Farm size and adoption of irrigation technology (N=124)

Farm size

<10

≥10

TOTAL

Sprinkler

n %

75 68.18

14

89

100.00

72

(df=1,

χ

2

= 6, p=0.01) n

35

Furrow

%

31.82

0

35

0.00

28

n

110

14

124

Total

%

89

11

100

62

6.7.4.2.

Perceived satisfaction with the method selected

75% of the farmers are satisfied with their choices of the specific irrigation method they selected for their farms. A possible reason for this is that farmers in Lesotho have limited exposure to information on different irrigation methods and are therefore inclined to be satisfied with what they have.

Table 6.15 Perceived satisfaction of farmers on selected irrigation methods (N=153)

Levels of satisfaction

Satisfied

Dissatisfied

TOTAL

Frequency

115

38

153

Percentage (%)

75

25

100

6.7.4.3.

Irrigation scheduling practices

Pereira (1982) is of the opinion that irrigation management as a planned activity is done on a number of factors which sometimes dictate the frequency of irrigation and the volume of water applied. He advocates that growing season and critical stages of crop development form the basis for irrigation management planning and scheduling. Stevens (2006) notes that irrigation scheduling is accepted as the process to decide when to irrigate crops and how much water to apply. He further states that irrigation scheduling plays an important role in the general improvement of water efficiency on the farm.

Table 6.16 illustrates that roughly 40% of farmers prefer to irrigate once every fortnight or twice a week 40% during the summer production season. During the winter production season farmers prefer to irrigate once every fortnight (53%). These differences in irrigation scheduling practices by farmers should be taken into consideration when planning irrigation management.

63

Table 6.16

Table 6.17

Irrigation scheduling practices (N=152)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Once a week

3

0

7 n

3

1

n

23

1

7

0

31

%

65.71

2.86

17.95

0

21.09

%

8.3

2.70

7.50

0

4.61

Once a week

Summer n

24

Twice a week

%

66.67

15 40.54

Once every fortnight n

2

20

%

5.57

54.05

16

7

62

40.00

17.95

40.79

11

30

63

27.50

76.92

41.45 n

Twice a week

%

5 14.29

Winter

Once every fortnight n

4

%

11.43

8

9

22.86

23.08

25

18

71.43

14.15

5

27

13.16

18.37

31

78

81.58

53.06

10

2

20 n

7

1

n

3

1

5

2

11

Others

%

19.44

2.70

25.00

5.13

13.16

Others

%

8.57

2.86

12.82

5.26

7.48 n

36

37

40

39

152 n

35

35

39

38

147

Total

%

23.68

24.34

26.32

25.66

100.00

Total

6.7.4.4.

Cost of irrigation

The general perception of farmers regarding the cost of irrigation indicated that 60% of the

%

23.81

23.81

26.53

25.85

100.00

respondents perceived irrigation as expensive. Farmers that perceive irrigation as relatively cheap use gravity to convey water from the source to the irrigation fields as illustrated in Table

6.17.

Distribution of how expensive irrigation is from farmers point of view

(N=153)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S

HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL n

0

1

Very cheap

%

0

2.70

n

5

9

Cheap

%

13.89

24.32

6

4

11

15.38 12 30.77

10.26

7.28

6 15.38

32 21.19

10

0

18

Moderate n

2

6

%

5.56

16.22

25.64

0.00

11.9

Expensive n

5

11

%

13.89

29.73

4

19

39

10.26

48.72

25.83

Very expensive n

24

10

%

66.67

27.03

7

10

51

17.95

25.64

33.77 n

36

37

Total

%

23.86

24.49

39

39

151

25.83

25.82

100.00

64

6.7.4.5.

Maintenance of irrigation systems

The installation of an irrigation facility is an expensive exercise (FAO, 2007) and therefore such a facility must be well maintained. Respondents were asked to indicate who is responsible for the maintenance of their irrigation systems. 92% of farmers maintain their irrigation facilities on their own, while 0.68% use their associations and the rest rely on government for assistance.

Table 6.18

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Distribution of responsibilities for maintenance of the systems (N=147)

Farmers n

23

%

67.65

35

38

39

135

100.00

97.44

100.00

91.80

Farmers Association n

0

%

0.00

0

1

0

1

0.00

2.56

0.00

0.70

Government n

11

%

32.35

0

0

0

11

0.00

0.00

0.00

7.50 n

34

Total

%

23.13

35

39

39

147

23.81

26.53

26.53

100.00

6.7.4.6.

Training in irrigation management

Harris (1983) noted that training for both farmers and extensionists is crucial for the purposes of improving the performance of individual extension workers and irrigation farmers. Respondents were asked whether they had ever attended any training course in irrigation management. 95% of the respondents indicated not to have attended any training courses.

Table 6.19 Distribution of training attended for irrigation management (N=141)

Responses

Attended training course

Not attended training course

TOTAL

Frequency (n)

7

134

141

Percentages (%)

5

95

100

6.8.

MARKETING POTENTIAL OF CROPS

Clover (1983) is of the opinion that marketing is the most important component of irrigation farming. Without adequate knowledge of what the market requires, efficient crop production is not possible.

65

6.8.1.

Target customers

52% of farmers produce primarily for local markets while only a small percentage (15%) produce for supermarkets. This finding illustrates the huge challenge facing extensionists and others to help farmers to identify alternative marketing opportunities.

60

50

40

52

30

23

20

15

8

10

2

0

Local community

Other districts Super market Fresh

Market opportunities

markets

Hawkers

Figure 6.6 Distribution of marketing opportunities (N=153

)

6.8.2.

Perceived marketing opportunities

78% of farmers indicated reliable marketing opportunities is a challenge that influences viable farming practices in their respective areas. Quthing and Mohale’shoek districts are less populated and less developed resulting in more limited marketing opportunities when compared with other districts. In an informal discussion with these farmers they indicated that open trading between

Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa influences their market niches since they compete with very advanced commercial farmers. Potential trading stores set very high quality standards which very few farmers in Lesotho can meet.

66

Table 6.20 Perceived existence of reliable marketing opportunities (N=87)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Reliable marketing n

9

7

2

1

19 opportunities

%

39.13

36.84

28.57

2.63

21.84

Non reliable marketing opportunities n

14

%

60.87

12

5

63.16

71.43

37

68

97.36

78.16 n

23

19

7

38

87

Total

%

26.44

21.84

8.05

43.67

100.00

6.8.3.

Contracts in marketing

Clover (1983) points out that contracts in marketing are seen as a basic solution of solving marketing problems for farmers. Contracts between firms and farmers’ helps to clarify precisely what should be produced and for whom, and at what price. Contractual arrangements are usually more attractive to farmers seeking additional sources of capital to expand their businesses and those who wish to share part of the risk with the buyer (Hill and Ingersent, 1982). Hill and

Ingersent (1982) further illustrate that contracts, either formal or informal, have become attractive because of benefits such as access to marketing and support system services.

Goldsmith (1985) also indicates that farmers get access to new technologies and inputs through contractual agreements, which otherwise may be outside their reach. Results in Table 6.21 illustrate that 95% of farmers do not form any contracts with supply stores.

Table 6.21

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Marketing contracts with supply stores (N=145)

Having contracts

N

6

0

%

18.75

0.00

1

0

7

2.70

0.00

4.83

No contracts n

26

37

36

39

138

%

81.25

100.00

97.30

100.00

95.17 n

32

37

37

39

145

Total

%

22.07

25.52

25.52

26.90

100.00

67

6.8.4.

Marketing information

57% of farmers indicated that they mainly get marketing information from fellow farmers, while

28 % of the farmers get marketing information from extensionists (Figure 6.7).

60

57

50

40

28

30

20

9

10

5

0

Fellow farmers Trader Extensionists

Sources of marketing information

Marketing

Figure 6.7. Distribution of market information source (N=153)

6.9.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Ford (1987) argue that for irrigation farmers to perform effectively they need support from governments, non-governmental organisations and financial institutions.

6.9.1.

Financial support to irrigation farmers

91% of the farmers indicated that they do not receive any financial support, while the rest mainly from Mohale’s Hoek (20.51%) and Maseru (11.76%), receive financial support in the form of donations from the Roman Catholic Church.

68

Table 6.22 Financial support to irrigation farmers (N=147)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL n

4

0

8

1

Receive financial support

13

%

11.76

0.00

20.51

2.63

8.84

Do not receive financial support n

30

36

31

37

134

%

88.24

100.00

79.49

97.37

91.16 n

34

36

39

38

147

Total

%

23

24

27

26

100

6.9.2.

Perceived satisfaction of farmers with regard to financial support

Farmers were asked to indicate their degree of satisfaction concerning available financial support. Since very few farmers receive financial support, 98% of the farmers were not satisfied with the current financial support provided.

Table 6.23 Perceived satisfaction with financial support (N=126)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG n

Satisfied

%

3

9.68

0

0

0.00

0.00

n

Not satisfied

28

32

%

90.32

100.00

n

31

32

Total

%

24.60

25.40

MOHALE’S HOEK

27 100.00 27 21.40

QUTHING

0

0.00 36 100.00 36 28.60

TOTAL

3

2.38 123 97.62 126 100.00

Both high value and low value crops are being planted by irrigation farmers in Lesotho.

However, since climatic and ecological conditions make it impossible to grow a wide variety of high value and low value crops, detailed studies have to be done to identify appropriate locations where particular crop varieties can or cannot do well.

69

CHAPTER 7

FARMERS INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE SUPPORT SYSTEM

7.1.

Farmers’ perceived role of extension workers

This chapter provides an insight into how farmers perceive the support they receive from extensionists on a number of practical aspects of irrigation farming. Membership of farmers to farmers associations or groups and contact with irrigation extensionists is also examined in this chapter.

Extension credibility plays a vital role in the adoption or rejection of new technologies on the farm as extensionists are considered to be information and knowledge providers. Ehrlich

et al.

(1999) define knowledge as accurate information that has been organised and evaluated by the human mind to shape actions, beliefs, attitudes and institutions or mental states.

In farming, information and knowledge are more important for capital intensive farming systems due to increasing economic pressure (Van Asseldonk

et al.

1999). Useful scientific information could improve decision-making by expanding alternatives, clarifying choices and enabling decision makers to achieve desired outcomes (Ehrlich

et al.

1999).

7.2.

Perceived importance of extension support by irrigation farmers with regard to crop selection

43% of farmers do not consider extension support as an important factor with regard to the crop selection (Table 7.1). These results correspond with the findings in Chapter 6 that farmers in

Lesotho often get advice from commercial farmers in the Republic of South Africa. This becomes more evident in Mafeteng (73.53%), and Mohale’shoek (64.42%) respectively.

Extension is considered to be very important in Quthing district, where 92% of the farmers perceive extension support as very important in their decision-making.

70

Table 7.1

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S

HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Perceived importance of extension support in crop selection (N=145)

Not important n %

10

25

29.41

73.53

26

2

63

64.42

5.13

43.45

10

1

31

Fairly important n %

13

7

38.24

20.57

26.32

2.56

21.38

2

36

51

Very important n %

11

2

32.35

5.90

5.26

92.31

35.17 n

34

34

Total

%

23.45

23.45

38

39

145

26.20

26.90

100.00

7.2.1.

Perceived satisfaction of farmers with extension support on fertilizer management

Table 7.2 illustrates that 35% of farmers are dissatisfied with extension support in regard to fertiliser management. Clearly there are huge discrepancies between the various districts. In

Mohale’shoek for instance, 60% of respondents are not satisfied while 92% of respondents in

Quthing districts are satisfied with the service delivered by extensionists. Credibility of extensionists appears to be limited to personalities.

Table 7.2 Perceived satisfaction of farmers with regard to extension support on fertiliser application on the farms (N=153)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

Dissatisfied n

14

14

%

37.87

37.87

Moderate n

19

17

%

51.35

45.95

n

4

6

Satisfied

%

10.81

59.46

n

37

Total

%

24

37 24

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S

HOEK

QUTHING

24

2

60.00

5.12

14

1

35.00

2.56

2

36

5.00

92.35

40

39

26

25

TOTAL

7.2.2.

54 35.29 51 33.34 48 31.37 153 100

Perceived satisfaction of farmers with regard to extension support for irrigation management

69.7% of farmers are dissatisfied with the support they receive from extensionists with regard to irrigation management.The highest perceived disatisfaction of farmers with regard to irrigation management was perceived in Mohale’shoek (100%) and Maseru 91%. Only Quthing farmers were satisfied with their extension support.

71

Table 7.3 Perceived levels of satisfactions of farmers with regard to extension support on irrigation management (N=149)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S

HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Very dissatisfied n %

32

30

91

83

39

3

104

100

8

69.8

Moderate n

1

0

0

0

1

%

2.86

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.67

Very satisfied n %

2

6

5.71

16.67

0

36

44

0.00

92.31

29.53 n

35

36

39

39

149

Total

7.2.3.

Knowledge support for irrigation management on the farm

%

23.49

24.17

26.17

26.17

100.00

On the question of, who farmers consult when they take irrigation management decisions, results show that 53% of farmers acquire irrigation information from fellow farmers, while 34% of farmers get support from the private companies where they buy irrigation equipment. Only 2% of farmers indicated that they getting support from extensionists

.

Similar results were presented by Williams and Düvel , (2005) who found most farmers felt free to acquire information from fellow farmers.

60

50

53

40

30

34

20

11

10

2

0

Figure 7.1.

Fellow farmers Private company Extensionists

Sources of information

Cooperatives

Frequency distribution of information sources used for irrigation management

72

7.2.4.

Farmers group and associations

Farmer groups are one of the most appropriate ways in which farmers learn and distribute new information concerning innovations. Black (2000) indicates that group activities are usually seen as belonging to the suite of participatory extension methodologies that feature prominently in the extension literature. When people are given the opportunity to participate in an activity, they usually take ownership for it as (Kelley 1995). According to Colliver (2001), farmer groups play an important role to produce faster evolution of sustainable farming systems by facilitating a better flow of ideas and information amongst farmers. Stevens (2006) notes that farmer groups have proven to be an effective way of sharing information and knowledge between farmers.

93% of the farmers indicated that they unfortunately do not belong to any farmers associations or groups (Table 7.4).

Table. 7.4 Frequency distribution of farmers belonging to farmers association (N=134)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

0

5

1

10

Member of a farmer group n

4

%

13.79

0.00

15.15

2.56

7.46

Not a member of a farmer group n

25

%

86.20

33

28

38

124

100.00

84.85

97.44

92.54

Total n

29

33

33

39

134

%

21.64

24.63

24.63

29.10

100.00

On the question of how knowledgeable extensionists are with regard to guiding farmers to form farmer groups, 86% indicated that extensionists have never encouraged them to form any farmer groups and therefore respondents perceive their knowledge in this regard as inadequate.

Table 7.5

DISTRICTS

Perceived knowledge of extension officer in forming farmer groups (N=142)

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Poor n

19

36

33

34

122

%

63.33

100

86.84

89.47

85.92

Moderate n

8

%

Good n

26.67 3

0

2

3

13

0

5.26

7.89

9.15

0

3

1

7

% n

10.00 30

0

7.89

2.63

4.93

Total

36

38

38

142

%

21.13

25.35

26.76

26.76

100.00

73

7.2.5.

Contact with extension

Table 7.6 illustrates that 89.7% of farmers indicated that they meet once a year with extensionists. They indicated that extension officers meet them during the preparations of national agricultural shows which are held once a year. Regular contact between extension and farmers is required for effective technology transfer and agricultural development. Thus findings should raise huge concerns amongst extension managers and their staff.

Table 7.6 Frequency distribution of contact between farmers and extension staff

(N=146)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S

HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

0

2

5 n

3

Once a fortnight

%

8.33

0 0

0

5.26

3.44

0

0

1 n

1

Once a month

%

2.77

0 0

0

0

0.68

1

1

5 n

3

Twice a month

%

8.33

0 0

2.70

2.63

3.44

Once a year n

26

%

72.22

34 97.14

36 97.29

35

131

92.10

89.7

On ad hoc n

3

1

0

0

4

%

8.33

2.85

n

36

35

0 37

0 38

2.74 146

Total

%

25

24

25

26

100

7.2.6.

Perceived problems with extension delivery

From the farmers point of view, there are many problems surrounding extension services. In particular extensionists themselves have a very negative attitude towards irrigation farming.

Farmers identify a lot of incompetence from extension officers regarding technical support in irrigation farming.

60% of farmers complained that most extensionists are not able to help them with technical aspects such as measuring of the fields and minor irrigation advice on irrigation equipment. They indicated that extensionists lack basic irrigation management knowledge and are appointed mainly because of political influence from the top management in the Ministry of Agriculture.

30% of the respondents indicate that irrigation engineers do not assist them with irrigation planning and design. Farmers complained that there are very poor linkages between extension, research and the farmers (22%) and as such, coordination is very poor.

74

Table 7.7 Perceived shortcomings of extension delivery as viewed by farmers (N=153)

Problems of extensionists viewed by farmers

Incompetence ( technical knowledge)

Percentages of responses

60.00

No irrigation engineers

Poor linkages between research and extension

Office orientated/lack of practical experience

30.00

22.00

18.00

Poor training institutions (colleges)

No evaluation of work

No follow-up from superior

Negative attitude towards irrigation

6.00

5.00

2.00

2.00

Findings in this chapter send alarming warnings to the Department of Agriculture and policy makers concerning extension, as most farmers do not regard extension as their fundamental guide to successful irrigation farming. The credibility and competence of extensionists is highly questionable in many aspects of farming operations.

75

CHAPTER 8

PERCEIVED EXTENSION DELIVERY TO IRRIGATION FARMERS

This chapter render some insight into ways in which irrigation extensionists perceive their service with regard to the irrigation performance in their respective areas. Personal profiles and challenges affecting extensionists are reflected in this chapter.

FAO (2008) asserts that extension has played a central role in the development of the agricultural sector since the beginning of the Green Revolution. The FAO (2008) further points out that top-down extension approaches were the main drivers during this time. Swanson (1997) however indicates that extension has undergone tremendous changes since then. These changes are due to factors such as the growth of the commercial farm sector, trade liberalization and new approaches to technology transfer. Present extension approaches include techniques where extension is being decentralised to the farmers. The emphasis is on bottom-up approaches where farmers are seen as the most important stakeholders (Swanson 1997).

8.1.

Profile of extension workers

This section provides a brief description of the profile of extensionists like their levels of education, age and experiences in irrigation farming across the four study areas

.

8.1.1.

Locality

A total of 31 extensionists were identified, who are responsible for serving farmers in irrigation farming. 31% percent of the extensionists were located in Mafeteng and 28% in Mohale’s Hoek.

76

35

30

25

20

15

10

5

28

31

25

16

0

Mohale shoek Mafeteng Maseru Quthing

Districts

Figure 8.1 Frequency distribution of extensionists in the four study areas (N=31)

8.1.2.

Gender distribution of extensionists

According to Mehta and Srinivasan

(

2001) gender reflects a set of behaviour norms ascribed to men and women in a given social group or system. Gender thus reflects attitudes and beliefs that a particular cultural group considers appropriate for males or females.

77% of the irrigation extensionists are males. This is probably because of the situation explained by Mehta and Srinivasan (2001) that women have been sanctioned for a long time in most

African countries in matters relating to agriculture.

8.1.3.

Education

Agricultural extension services require qualified extensionists who are competent in both the disciplines of agriculture and extension (Stevens and Van Heerden, 2007). Table 8.1 illustrates that 48% of extension workers have attained a diploma qualification while 35% respondents attained a degree qualification and 16% certificates in agricultural science. It is important to indicate that in an informal discussion with some extension workers, misgivings were observed

77

among extension workers depending on where extension staff received tertiary training. Some extensionists perceive their fellow extension workers as of a lower grade because of the universities and/ or colleges from which they acquired their training. This causes frustrations and conflicts between colleagues.

Table. 8.1 Distribution of gender and highest qualifications obtained by extension staff (N=31)

Gender distribution

Male

Female

Frequency

24

7

TOTAL 31

Qualification distribution of extensionists

Frequency Qualifications

Std 7

Std 7- 8

Form C

Form E

Certificate in agriculture

Diploma in agriculture

0

0

0

0

5

15

Degree

TOTAL

11

31

Percentages

77.42

22.58

100.00

Percentage

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

16.13

48.39

35.37

100

8.1.4.

Age

Table 8.2 illustrates that 69% of the extension workers are younger than 41 years which implies that they can be sent for further training. They have approximately 25 years of service remaining before they qualify for retirement.

Table 8.2 Distribution of age amongst extensionists (N=26)

Age categories Frequency Percentages

20-30

31-40

41-50

51-60

Total

5

13

5

3

26

19

50

19

12

100

78

8.1.5.

Working experience

Experience plays a very important role in the performance of individuals in extension activities.

Figure 8.2 illustrates that 31% of the extension workers have less than five years of experience in agricultural extension. These extensionists rely on mentoring from their more senior colleagues and often lack appropriate experience to serve farmers efficiently.

35

30

25

20

15

10

5

0

31

19

25 25

<5 5---10 11--15

Experience in years

16--20

Figure 8.2 Levels of experiences of extensionists (N=31)

8.1.6.

Field of specialization

Figure 8.3 illustrates that only 6% of extension workers were trained as agricultural extensionists, while the rest were trained in specific subject matters with little or no introduction to agricultural extension. Figure 8.3 also indicates that 16% of respondents were trained in engineering. It is also important to note that these engineers were trained as civil engineers and not specifically as irrigation engineers. 16% of the extensionists received training in crop production. Important is the fact that 41% of the respondents received general agricultural training which does not automatically qualify them as irrigation extensionists (without specialised in-service training).

79

45

40

35

30

25

20

15

10

5

0

6

16

6 6

16

9

41

Animal science

Crop science Agricultural extension

Soil science Irrigation engineering

Field of specialisation

Agricultual economics

BSc Agric general

Figure 8.3 Frequency distribution of areas of specialisation (N=31)

8.1.7.

Extension methods and approaches used in development

On the question of what extension methods are commonly used in Lesotho, all respondents avoided to answer the question. This could indicate that either the extensionists did not understand the question or they did not have the necessary knowledge to identify specific extension approaches and methods they follow.

8.1.8.

Constraints in delivering extension services

For effective extension, extensionists need to be provided with the necessary support in terms of transport, teaching-aids and other essential equipment. 81% of extension workers indicated that the main problem hindering them from providing efficient extension service delivery is lack of facilities. They indicated that vehicles allocated for them to perform field work are sometimes taken from them and used for other official purposes, such as transportation of directors to attend to family matters. The second shortfall identified is the lack of appropriate in-service training

(45%). The results correspond with the findings of Mokone and Steyn (2005) that 55% of extension workers in Lesotho are not offered any in-service training. 32% of the extensionists

80

complained about poor salaries. It is important for extension managers (line and senior) to take note of these constraints, since they in general give rise to poorly motivated extension staff.

Table 8.3 Perceived constraints that hinder extension performance in irrigation farming (N=31)

2

3

4

6

7

Constraints

1

5

Poor transport

Lack of in-service training

Poor salaries

Poor communication channels

Incompetent staff members

Too many farmers to be served

Lack of computers and free internet

Frequency

25

14

10

8

6

4

2

Percent of people

80.60

45.16

32.25

25.80

19.35

12.90

6.45

8.1.9.

Monitoring and evaluation of extension impact

Respondents were asked whether they evaluated and monitored their progress in extension. 68% indicated that they never monitored and evaluated the impact of their extension work, while the rest indicated some form of monitoring and evaluation. Results are as observed probably because of the possibility that monitoring and evaluation are not used positively in the working places.

Terblanche (2004) indicates that some people use monitoring and evaluation as a means of firing staff if they fail to achieve the set objectives of the organisations. For this reason, this practise is seen as a threat to many people in the field.

81

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

21

68

Figure 8.4

Yes No

Monitoring and evaluation

Frequency distribution of monitoring and evaluation of extension impact by extensionists (N=31)

8.1.10.

Training in irrigation management

97% of irrigation extension workers did not attend any in-service training in irrigation management. The findings supports the findings in Figure 8.3 where respondents were found to have acquired training in different aspects of agriculture but none of them acquired training as specific irrigation engineers or specific irrigation extensionists. The possible reason for this may be attributed to lack of knowledge by management. Extension directors may not be aware of the importance of training even in the form of short or refresher courses in enhancing extensionists’ technical competences and developing of irrigation farming in Lesotho.

82

120

100

80

60

97

40

20

3

0

Yes

Irrigation courses attended

No

Figure 8.5 Frequency distribution of extensionists attending irrigation training (N=31)

8.1.11.

Perceived technical knowledge level

Technical knowledge is essential for an extensionist to gain the necessary credibility amongst his or her farmers. This section reveals the perceived technical knowledge level of irrigation extensionists in Lesotho according to their own assessment.

8.1.11.1.

Perceived satisfaction with fertiliser management and support

73% of extension workers rated themselves as being good in advising farmers on fertiliser management. Interesting is the fact that in Chapter 7 (Table 7.2), only farmers from Quthing district indicated that they were satisfied with the services of extensionists with regard to fertiliser management while the rest of the farmers were not satisfied with the knowledge that the extensionists displayed.

83

Table 8. 4

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL

Perceived satisfaction of extensionists regarding fertiliser management support (N=30)

1

2

0

n

0

Poor

%

0

3.33

3

6.70

0

10.00

1

1

5 n

Fair

%

2

1

6.67

3.33

3.33

3.33

6

3

16.7 22 n

Good

%

6

7

20

23

20

20

73.3 n

Total

%

8

9

26.67

30.00

9

4

30.00

13.33

30 100.00

8.1.11.2.

Perceived satisfaction with crop management support

Results in Table 8.5 indicate that 71% of extension workers rate themselves as good with advice on aspects such as crop selection, crop production and management.

Table 8.5 Perceived satisfaction of extensionists regarding crop management support (N=31)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL n

Poor

%

0

1

5

3

9

0.0

3.2

16.2

9.7

29 n

8

9

4

1

22

Good

%

26.00

29.00

13.00

3.23

71 n

8

10

9

4

31

Total

%

25.81

32.26

29.03

12.90

100.00

8.1.11.3.

Perceived satisfaction with weed management support

Table 8.6 illustrates that 81% of irrigation extension workers rate themselves as being good in weed control management.

Table 8.6 Perceived satisfaction of extensionists regarding weed management support (N=31)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE'S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL n

1

0

3

2

6

Poor

%

3.20

0.00

9.68

6.45

19.36 n

7

10

Good

%

23

n

8

32.25 10

6 19 9

2

25

6.45 4

80.64 31

Total

%

25.81

32.26

29.03

12.90

100.00

84

8.1.11.4.

Perceived satisfaction with agro-climate support

77% of extension workers rated themselves as not adequately trained in climatology and therefore incapable to assist farmers in their decision-making for effective irrigation management. A possible reason for this may be that agro-climate is not being appropriately addressed in the training curricula offered to agricultural students. Table 8.6

Table 8.7 Perceived satisfaction of extensionists regarding interpreting agro-climate data (N=31)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE'S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL n

6

8

8

2

24

Poor

%

19.35

26

26

6.45

77.4 n

2

2

1

2

7

Good

%

6.46

6.46

3.23

6.45

22.6 n

8

10

9

4

31

Total

%

25.80

32.30

29.00

12.90

100.00

8.1.11.5.

Perceived satisfaction with irrigation management support

The majority of extensionists (81%) are of the opinion that they are not competent due to training inadequacies in irrigation management.

Table 8.8 Perceived satisfaction of extensionists regarding competency in irrigation management (N=31)

DISTRICTS

MASERU

MAFETENG

MOHALE’S HOEK

QUTHING

TOTAL n

Poor

%

6

8

19.35

26.00

8

3

25

26.00

9.68

80.6

1

1

3 n

Fair

%

1

0

3.23

0.00

3.23

3.23

9.7

0

0

3 n

Good

%

1

2

3.20

6.43

0.00

0.00

9.73 n

Total

%

8

10

26

32

9

4

31

29

13

100

85

8.1.12.

Perceived irrigation efficiency in the area

On the question of how irrigation extensionists perceive the irrigation performance and efficiency of farmers in their respective locations, 52% of the respondents are of the opinion that irrigation is performing poorly in their areas. Only 3% of the respondents are of the opinion that irrigation is performing well and that they therefore satisfied with the general irrigation performance.

60

50

40

52

45

30

20

10

3

0

Poor Moderate Good

Irrigation perform ance

Figure 8.6 Rating of irrigation performance of farmers according to extensionists (N=31)

8.2.

Major problems of farmers as viewed as by irrigation extensionists

Extensionists were asked to identify the main constraints that farmers experience in irrigation farming. 50% of the extensionists perceive poor financial support to farmers as a major constraint for the development of irrigation. The extensionists further indicated that many farmers depend on donations which imply that farmers establish irrigation projects only when donations are available.

The land tenure system applied in Lesotho is another stumbling block for sustainable irrigation performance. 28% of the extensionists indicate that farms are being rented and preventing farmers from investing fully on irrigation facilities.

Table 8.9 Constraints perceived to hinder irrigation performance

86

Main problems

Poor financial support

Land tenure system is still a problem

Poor training

No irrigation engineers

Low levels of education

Soil samples are done only in Maseru

Poor extension support

Poor planning

Not planting suitable crops

Frequency(n)

16

9

5

5

5

3

2

1

1

Percentage (%)

50.00

28.13

15.63

15.63

15.63

9.38

6.25

3.13

3.13

8.3.

Climatic factors affecting irrigation performance

Extensionists (39%) in general were of the opinion that harsh winters and heavy storms are the main climatic factors that influence irrigation crop production. The majority of extensionists use radio Lesotho’s weather forecasts as their main source of information, which they apply in their planning for farmers. Similar results were documented by Williams and Düvel, (2005). Only

34% of the respondents make use of information generated at the Lesotho weather forecast station.

Table 8.10 Perceived climatic factors affecting irrigation performance and sources of climatic information (N=18)

Climatic conditions

1 Harsh winters

2

3

4

Heavy storms

Drought

Heavy rain that cause water logging

TOTAL

Frequency

6

7

4

1

18

Sources of information for predicting weather forecast

Percent

33.33

38.89

22.22

5.56

100

Source of climatic information

1

2

3

4

Radio Lesotho

Weather forecast station

Historical

Internet climate updates

TOTAL

Frequency

19

11

1

1

32

Percent of people

59.38

34.38

3.13

3.13

100.00

87

8.4.

Perceived areas for improvement in irrigation development

75% of the extensionists were of the opinion that effective training for both extensionists and farmers can change the irrigation performance in Lesotho. 63% of the respondents indicate that if farmers are supported financially, sustainable irrigation development could be enhanced.

Table 8.11 Frequency distribution of points to consider in order to improve irrigation in

Lesotho.

Areas of improvement

Effective training

Improve on the financial support

Employ more qualified staff

Deploy relevant technology

Evaluate extensionists/engineers often

Promotion of team work

Improve irrigation policy

Improve on marketing channels

Construction of more dams

Frequency

(n)

24

20

10

5

4

4

2

2

1

Percentage of people

(%)

75.00

62.50

31.25

15.63

12.50

12.50

6.25

6.25

3.13

The goals of agricultural extension include among others transfer of information from the global knowledge base and local research institutes to the farmers, enabling them to clarify their own goals. It also includes educating them on how to make better decisions and stimulating desirable agricultural development. However, for this to become a reality, all resources should be in place for extensionists to perform their duties.

88

CHAPTER 9

9.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

9.1.

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of the study was to determine the current irrigation situation in Lesotho and identify and analyse the factors that determine successful irrigation farming. The hypotheses set for the study were that poor extension support to irrigation farmers’ impacts negatively on irrigation development and that participation in the planning and implementation of irrigation development programmes is a pre-requisite for sustainable irrigation development.

9.2.

LIVELIHOOD SYSTEMS FOR SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION IN LESOTHO

The majority (75%) of irrigation farmers are men with primary education. Irrigation farmers showed that households are engaged in a wide range of livelihood activities, both on-farm and off-farm (taxi, business, etc). In addition, they obtained a substantial portion of their household income from the state through pensions and social grants. Agriculture is an important livelihood activity among irrigation plot holders of the four irrigation schemes under review. 58% of the households indicated farming as the main income source. For part time farming households, the productive use of an irrigation plot is a supplementary or complementary livelihood activity.

Some farmers indicate that they use farming to survive, and they had deliberately selected an agrarian livelihood. These farmers are also more market-oriented and indicate that more than

60% of their household income is derived from farming. Almost invariably the market-oriented farmers are also interested in expanding their operations but the prevailing circumstances such as the land tenure system in Lesotho, are not conducive for this to happen. Some of these farmers therefore rent land from fellow irrigation plot holders, but experience problems due to poor contractual agreements and the general honouring of agreements.

From the study it is evident that diversity is also an important feature of the farming systems that were identified. 76% of the respondents indicated that they are practising a mixed farming

89

system with livestock as a main enterprise apart from irrigation. Three distinctive farming styles were identified namely food producers, profit makers and those that are employed by either the public or private sector. Farmers involved in these different farming styles have different farming objectives and attitudes towards farming and the taking of risks as reflected in their production systems and marketing strategies.

Farmers involved in producing food for their households correspond with the category of subsistence farmers who similarly farm to supply food to their households. Profit makers fit the description of the category of small-scale commercial farmers, who farm for the purpose of selling produce and earning a living from the farming activities. These farmers are in general more market-oriented and farm for a specific market environment (mainly local markets) they are also generally more prepared to take risks such as applying new technology.

The third group of farmers are a different group as these are earning a regular wage through employment with the public or the private sector, running a formal or informal business and/or receiving a huge portion of their household income from the state through social grants and pensions. For these farmers the engagement in off-farm activities is more important that on-farm activities. Many of these farmers have to support their farming enterprises using the income generated from off-farm activities. The implication of this diversity in livelihoods of irrigation landholders on the four irrigation schemes in Lesotho is that the institutional support rendered by research and extension should be aligned to the different needs of farmers.

9.3.

CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

9.3.1.

Cropping systems

Maize, potatoes, cabbage and beans are the most common crops grown by irrigation farmers in

Lesotho. Farmers use recommended varieties although they claim that, the performance of these recommended varieties do not differ from traditional varieties which they have been using before. The role of extension in the use of recommended varieties is minimal. 34% of the farmers perceive climate as the most important factor determining what crop to plant, while 29% of respondents consider potential markets as an important factor in decision-making. The implication is that more attention has to be given to these factors by extensionists. More relevant,

90

reliable and timely information has to be provided to farmers by extensionists and other relevant role players. Farmers Weekly and Radio Lesotho are two important national sources of information which can be used for up-to-date market performance and weather forecasts.

9.3.2.

Cultivation practices

The availability of tractors and animal traction in the four districts suggests different seedbed preparation methods. In Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek and Quthing farmers primarily use their own tractors and implements for seedbed preparation, while animal traction is generally used in the

Maseru district due to the availability of livestock for this purpose. Interesting however is the fact that farms in the Mafeteng, Quthing and Mohale’s Hoek districts are relatively small

(<15ha).

Most farmers (57%) use organic fertilisers such as kraal manure and compost as opposed to inorganic fertilisers. Basic practices such as conducting soil analysis before applying fertilisers and planting are not implemented by the majority of the farmers (95%). Farmers in general perceive the selection of a specific fertiliser type based on whether it will improve the soil structure (32%) or how easily it could be applied (29%).

9.4.

IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT

Irrigation management involves proper use of irrigation systems and water sources to enable good crop performance. The selection of appropriate irrigation scheduling methods and practices is crucial to ensure efficient water use on the farm (Steven, 2006).

9.4.1.

Irrigation methods and sources of water

64% of the farmers use rivers as their main source of water while the rest use dams and boreholes. Irrigation water is free of charge with the exception to the fewer farmers located in

Maseru district where they irrigate from Mohokahare and Phuthiatsana rivers. 64% of the farmers use sprinkler irrigation because it is perceived to be effective and time-saving compared to other irrigation methods such as furrow and flood. 54% of the farmers use diesel pumps to lift water from water sources while 40% of the farmers use gravity as a means of conveying water to the fields.

91

9.4.2.

Irrigation scheduling practices

40% of the farmers prefer to irrigate once every fortnight or twice a week during the summer production season depending on the stage of the crop growth. During the winter production season farmers prefer to irrigate every fortnight (53%). Farmers use a fixed irrigation calendar where there are no measurements considered at all. Therefore many farmers rely on their experience and intuition as Stevens, (2006) indicates. The implication is that under or over irrigation may be applied since specific crop water requirements and soil water infiltrability is not taken into consideration.

9.4.3.

Perceived cost of irrigation

60% of the farmers perceive irrigation as an expensive activity especially those who are using diesel and electricity for pumping. Farmers who perceive irrigation as a cheap activity mainly use gravity to convey water from the sources to their fields. This implies that farmers should be advised to adopt irrigation systems depending on the geographical set-up and location of their farms, to reduce expenses.

Maintenance of irrigation equipment is unavoidable. If no care is taken to maintain irrigation equipment, it can fail completely and become more expensive to erect it afresh. 92% of the respondents maintain their irrigation systems themselves while, the rest rely on government for maintenance of their irrigation facilities. Clearly in this case, most farmers do understand the importance of taking care of their irrigation equipment.

9.5.

INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR FARMERS

9.5.1.

Perceived role of extension support

Extension credibility is highly questionable as 70% of irrigation farmers across all the districts, regard extension as unimportant for irrigation management decisions. Evidence from the respondents with exception from Quthing district, indicates that technical competence of extension staff regarding crop production (selection of crop types, fertiliser management, etc) is inadequate and therefore not perceived as an important source of information for decisionmaking on the farm.

92

Also evident is that extensionists do not visit farmers as frequently as expected. In the farmers view, extensionists only visit them during the preparation of national agricultural shows which are held once a year. Findings further indicate that most farmers prefer to get information from fellow farmers with regard to various aspects of farming. These findings should raise a huge concern amongst the extension management of the Ministry of Agriculture, since serious recovery is required in this regard.

9.5.2.

Perceived role of extension in the formation of farmer groups

Farmer groups are seen as the simplest way in which information can be disseminated and shared among farmers. 93% of farmers indicate that they do not belong to any farmer groups/association, while 83% of the farmers also indicate that extension staff is not adequately trained to support in this regard and therefore do not encourage them to form farmer groups or associations. These findings indicate the severity of poor communication and networking structures of the farmers at grassroots level. 41% of the extensionists have acquired General

Diplomas in Agriculture which alone does not prepare extension staff adequately to fulfil all the roles expected for the specific challenges in extension work.

Further findings illustrate that most extensionists have less than 5 years experience in extension and therefore the necessity for mentorship and in-service training is of utmost importance.

Extensionists, except a few who specialised in extension, are mostly trained as subject matter specialists. The implication in the findings is that as much as districts may have good subject matter specialists dissemination of information to the relevant people will remain a problem in the region.

93

9.6.

EFFECTIVENESS OF EXTENSION DELIVERY AS PERCEIVED BY

EXTENSION STAFF

9.6.1.

Differential perceptions of farmers and extensionists regarding the delivery of extension services

The majority of the farmers are of the opinion that extensionists are not supporting them with decision-making on the farm. Farmers clearly indicate that the technical support from extensionists is not adequate while extensionists believe they are doing well in this regard.

Extensionists on the other hand are of the opinion that their general technical knowledge support in crop production is adequate to support farmers in decision-making with the exception of support regarding climatology and irrigation management.

9.6.2.

Constraints that impact on effective extension delivery

78% of extension workers indicate that the main problem hindering them from efficient extension delivery is lack of infrastructure and facilities. Vehicles allocated to them to perform field work are sometimes used for other purposes such as transporting directors to attend family matters. Secondly the lack of appropriate in-service training is perceived a major constraint in equipping extension staff with the necessary skills and competencies to serve farmers. These constraints together with other motivational drivers such as dissatisfaction with salaries contribute to the general poor motivational status found amongst the extension staff.

9.6.3.

Profile of extension workers

Extension workers are well qualified (certificate, diplomas and degree training). Training of extension workers is mainly general (41%) and in engineering (16%) with the minority of extension (6%) and crops (16%). No in-service training is provided in irrigation management.

The majority of extension workers consequently consider themselves not to be competent to provide support for irrigation farming. Effective training of both farmers and extensionists should receive the highest priority to improve irrigation performance. This priority is accentuated with the low percentage of farmers and extensionists recorded, that actually receive training and the related absence of training courses being presented by Colleges or Universities.

94

9.6.4.

Perceived challenges for irrigation management

Extension staff rate the general irrigation performance of farmers as poor with the major constraints perceived as access to financial support (50%) and an inappropriate land tenure system (28%). Also they indicate that irrigation farmers are very much dependent on government or donor subsidies. These constraints, together with the fact that very few farmers (5%) and extensionists (3%) received training in terms of irrigation farming and maintenance of irrigation systems contribute to a situation where many farmers are producing far below the irrigation potential of the respective areas. No specific reasons for this were identified, but in South Africa a study by Stevens and Van Heerden (2007) revealed that tertiary training organizations in general present courses that do not prepare extension staff for the task they have to perform on irrigation schemes and irrigation plots. The study further revealed that training courses offered do not cover the essential areas required for irrigation management. Perhaps the same reasons may also apply for the general poor competency level of extension staff and irrigation farmers in this regard. 75% of extension staff is of the opinion that if these issues can be addressed, irrigation efficiency and water use efficiency will generally improve.

9.7.

Main findings of the study

The study clearly identified the critical factors that determine successful irrigation farming in

Lesotho. Hypothesis 1 which states that poor extension support to irrigation farmers impacts negatively on irrigation development cannot be rejected due to the substantial proof found in this study that the majority of extensionists consider themselves not to be competent to provide support for irrigation farming. No in-service training is provided for extension workers.

Hypothesis 2 which states that participation by farmers in the planning and implementation of irrigation development programmes is a prerequisite for sustainable irrigation development is also not rejected since 78% of farmers perceived the linkages with researchers and extensionists inadequate and ineffective.

9.8.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The following recommendations are proposed regarding the major findings on the possible reasons for poor performance of irrigation farming in Lesotho:

95

Revisiting institutional policy

It is highly recommended that Agricultural Extension and Research institutions should form very strong linkages in the country in order to help guide farmers to attain their goals and objectives. Greater political and institutional support is recommended to enhance irrigation development in Lesotho. There is a need to design and develop alternative policy instruments and institutions for extension, technical assistance, training and credit service.

Land tenure

It is also recommended that the land tenure system of the country should be reviewed as progressive farmers who tend to expand their farming operations, face challenges related to the land tenure system of the country. Amongst others they indicate that they rent land based on very informal contracts with the landlords.

Irrigation management

Farmers need to understand the basic principles regarding the biological functioning of plants and gain the necessary insight into the complexity of the soil-plant-atmosphere systems and business management skills before entering into a complex irrigation farming system. Knowing the needs of crops, soil types and environmental parameters of an area will enable farmers to deploy relevant irrigation technologies and scheduling.

Knowledge support to irrigation farmers

It is important for the country to develop more agricultural extension institutions with competent staff to address the problems of the farmers. In-service training courses can assist extensionists to be more competent in their service delivery as this was found to be a major constraint to irrigation farmers. Young extensionists should be sent to higher learning institutions to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills of relevant technologies. Extension services are without doubt very important for the country to ensure sustainable food production.

According to the findings, very few farmer associations or groups exist in Lesotho. It is therefore recommended that extensionists should be properly trained on this matter so that farm communities are encouraged to form associations. Further research should be conducted as there

96

are perhaps other factors which may have a significant influence on the mobilising of the farmers to form farm groups.

Financial support

Mobilising of credit resources from financial institutions such as commercial banks will help small-scale farmers to buy appropriate irrigation equipment, recommended seeds and fertilisers

Development of market opportunities and support with market strategy

It is highly recommended that farmers and extensionists should be trained on how to explore and establish new markets for the farm. This will in turn, add value to farm products and keep customers satisfied with the products produced.

Networking with commercial farmers /mentorship

It is highly recommended that the bond of friendship between South African and Lesotho farmers be encouraged as farmers from Lesotho can learn from South African commercial farmers. Commercial farmers can become involved as mentors to improve small-scale farming in

Lesotho. The intervention will not only benefit farmers but also extensionists who appear to be lacking technical knowledge and skills in many aspects of irrigation farming.

Breaking of dependency on projects and government support

From the findings extensionists indicate that irrigation farmers in Lesotho are highly dependent on donors and subsidies from the government. It is therefore recommended that farmers are trained to be independent in decision-making, and to develop their own institutional support systems.

97

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VERELA-ORTEGA, C., SUMPSI, D. M., GARRIDO, A., BLANCO, M., & IGLESIAAS, E.,

1995.Water Pricing Policies, Public decision-making and farmers response. Implications for water Policy

.Agric Econ 19,139-202.

WATER AFFAIRS AND RIGHTS., 2005/6. Maseru Lesotho.

WICKHAM, T. H., & TAKASE, K.1976. Some management issues in irrigation development.

Paper presented at the CPDS-UPLB-NWRC-NIA Workshop on water resources. November, Los

Banos, Laguna, the Philippines.

WILLIAMS, R., & DÜVEL G. H. 2005. The role of opinion leadership among maize farmers in

Lesotho,dissertation.

WILSON, G. A., 1997. Factors influencing Farmers Participation in the environmentally sensitive Areas Schemes.

Journal of Environmental Management.

WORLD BANK DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2000/2001. Attaining Poverty Oxford

University Press New York.

WORLD BANK., 2002. Report. From action to impact: The African Region’s Rural Strategy.

Rural Development Strategy. World Bank, Washington.

WORLD BANK, 2006. Directions in Development, Re-engaging in Agricultural Water

Management: Challenges and Options. Washington, DC.U.S.A

WORLD METEOROLOGY ORGANISATION. 2007. Statement on water and sustainable

Development Accessed on htt://www.wmo.ch.

107

5.

7

Appendix 1

Farmers questionnaire

FARMERS QUESTIONNAIRE

Section A: PERSONAL INFORMATION

1.

2.

3.

4.

6.

a. b. a. b.

Name of the respondent………………

Irrigation district………………………..

Gender of the respondent. Male (1) Female (2)

Age of the respondent. …………

The highest qualification obtained.

< std 7 (1)

Std 7-8 (2)

Form C (3)

Form E (4)

Certificate (5)

Diploma (6)

Degree (7)

What is the size of your household?................

COMPOSITION OF THE HOUSE HOLD.

No of Adults

No of children

(<16years)

What are the main sources of house hold income?

Government work. (1).

Taxi business (2)

Farming (3)

Social grants (4)

Others specify (5)

What percentage of house hold income is derived from farming?............ c. Are you a full time farmer? Yes (1) No (2) d. Motivate your reasons for farming?

Profit making (1)

Food production (2)

Both (3) a.

b.

How many people work on your farm?..........................................

Are the people who work on your farm mainly members from the family or

employees from outside?

Members of the family (1).

Outside the family (2)

Both (3)

V 3

V4

V5a

for office

V1

V1.1

V 2

V5b

V5c

V6d

V7a

V6a.1

V6a.2

V6a.3

V6a.4

V6a.5

V6b

V6c

V7b.

108

11.

12.

10

Section B:

8 a.

b.

FARM ACTIVITIES

What is the size of your farm? (ha)

What is the size of your arable land? (ha)…………………… c.

Indicate the size of the irrigable land (ha).............................................

9. a.

d.

Estimate the distance between the farm and the dwellings ……….m/km

Rate your satisfaction with the distance between dwelling and farm on the following scale

1

Very dissatisfied

2

Fair

3

Very satisfied a.

Do you keep livestock on the farm? Yes (1) No (2) b.

Do you make use of communal grazing rights? Yes (1) No (2) c.

d.

Are you satisfied with the derived income from livestock? Yes (1) No (2)

Rate your knowledge on livestock farming on the following scale?

1

Very poor

2

Fair

3

Excellent a. Which crops do you usually grow during summer?

Crop type Area Average yield ( bag)/t/ha b. Rate your satisfaction with the summer crop production efficiency.

1

Not satisfied

2

Moderate

3

Very satisfied a. Which crops do you usually grow during winter?

Crop type Area Average yield (bag)/ t/ha

V8a

V8b

V8c

V9a

V9b

V10a

V10b

V10c

V10d

V11a.1

V11a.2

V11a.3

V11a.4

V11a.5

V11a.6

V11a.7

V11a.8

V11a.9

V11b

V12a.1

V12a.2

V12a.3

V12a

V12a

V12a

V12a

V12a

V12a

109

b. Rate your satisfaction with the winter crop production efficiency.

Section C.

1

Not satisfied

2

Moderate

SELECTION OF THE CROPS.

3

Very satisfied

V12b

13. a. What factors do you take into consideration with the selection of crops to be planted? Market (1)

Climatic conditions (2)

Seed viability (3)

Soil type (4) b. Do you use crop varieties recommended by the extension officer?

Yes (1). No (2) c.

If Not what are the situational constraints that prevent you from using recommended varieties? They are expensive (1) satisfied with own varieties (2) d.

lack of knowledge on the recommended ones (3)

How would you rate the production efficiency of the recommended varieties in comparison to the traditional varieties you plant?

1 2 3

Substantially worse than traditional varieties

Same as traditional varieties

Substantially better than traditional varieties a. Do you practice crop rotation on the farm? Yes (1) No (2)

V13a.1

V13a.2

V13a.3

V13a.4

V13b

V13c.1

V13c.2

V13c.3

V13d

V14a 14. b. If Yes what two advantages do you experience from this practice?

………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………….

………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………….. c. What are the main problems you experience with this practising of crop rotation?

………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………..

d. Rate the importance of the extension support on crop selection for crop production?

Section D.

15 a.

1

Not important

2

Fairly important

SOIL PREPARATION

.

3

Very important

How do you usually prepare the seedbed for planting?

Use of own tractor (1).

Hire a tractor (contractors) (2) b.

Use of animal power draught (3)

If you make use of contractors, indicate your satisfaction with the service rendered

1

Very dissatisfied

2

Moderate

3

Very satisfied

V14d

V15a.1

V15a.2

V15a.3

V15b

V14b.1

V14b.2

V14c.1

V14c.2

110

17.

16. a. Do you make use of soil analysis before you fertilise a seedbed?

Yes (1) No (2) b. Who usually help you with the interpretation of the soil analysis?

Yourself (1)

Fellow farmers (2)

Extension officers (3)

Representative from fertiliser companies (4) a. Do you apply fertilizers on your field? Yes (1). No (2) b.

If Yes what fertilizers do you apply?

Organic fertilizers (1). c.

Inorganic fertilizer (2).

Both (3)

Why do you use this specific type of fertiliser?

Rich in nutrients (1) d.

Easy to apply (2)

Improves soil structure (3)

Cheap (4)

All of the above (5)

What type of organic fertiliser do you usually use?

Kraal manure (1)

Poultry (2)

Sheep (3) e.

Compost (4)

All of the above (5)

If you use inorganic fertiliser, who help you with the recommendations on the specific type of fertilisers to use?

Fellow farmers ( 1)

Private companies (2)

Extensionists (3)

Cooperatives (4). a. Rate your satisfaction with the current fertilisation management on the farm

V16a

V17d.2

V17d.3

V17d.4

V17d.5

18.

V17e.1

V17e.2

V17e.3

V17e.4

19

1

Very dissatisfied

2 3

Moderate

4 5

Very satisfied a. Rate your satisfaction with the support received from the extensionists in regard to fertiliser application.

1 2 3 4 5

Very dissatisfied

Moderate Very satisfied

Section E.

20.

CROP MANAGEMENT

a. When do you mainly experience problems with weeds during the summer crop production?

Pre planting (1). Post planting (2) b.

When do you mainly experience problems with weeds on the farm during the winter crop production?

V18a

V19a

V16b.1

V16b.2

V16b.3

V16b.4

V17a

V17b

V17c.1

V17c.2

V17c.3

V17c.4

V17c.5

V17d.1

Pre plant (1). Post planting (2) V20b

111

21 c.

Which weed control method do you apply?

Mowing(1).

Hoeing/ hand weeding (2)

Biological control (3)

Chemical application (4) d.

Burning (5)

If you use chemicals who usually help you with the selection and calibration of such chemicals (herbicides)?

Extension officer (1)

Fellow farmers (2)

Private companies (3)

Cooperative (4)

Own experience (5) a.

When do you mainly experience problems with diseases and pests during the summer production season?

1 2 3

Beginning of the season b.

Middle of the season End of the season

When do you experience problems with diseases and pests during the winter production season?

1 2 3

V20c.1

V21a

V21b

Beginning of the season

Middle of the season End of the season

IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT Section F:

22 a.

Which irrigation method do you use on the farm?

Sprinkler (1)

Drip/Micro (2)

Furrow (3)

Flood (4) b.

Other (5)

Why did you choose this specific irrigation method?

V22a.1

V22a.2

V22a.3

V22a.4

V22a.5 e.

(1) V22b

(2) V22b

(3) V22b

(4)

………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………..

Rate your satisfaction with the specific irrigation method used on the farm. c.

1 2 3 4 5

V22b

V22b

V22c

Very dissatisfied Moderate Very satisfied d.

Indicate the main source of water for your irrigation? V22d

Dam (1).

River (2).

Bore hole (3)

How do you convey water from the source to the field?

Gravity (1)

Water Pump (diesel) (2)

Electric Pump (3)

Others explain (4)

V22e.1

V22e.2

V22e.3

V22e.4

V20c.2

V20c.3

V20c.4

V20c.5

V20d.1

V20d.2

V20d.3

V20d.4

V20d.5

112

f.

g.

Yes (1) No (2)

Do you receive a specific water allocation per annum? Yes (1) No (2) V22g

24

23 h.

Do you pay for the irrigation water used on the farm? Yes (1) No (2) e.

How often do you irrigate your crops? a.

During summer time………(1) b.

Once a week

Twice a week

Once every fortnight

Others, specify

During winter time…………(2)

1

2

3

4

Once a week

Twice a week

Once every fortnight

1

2

3 a.

Others, specify

Who mainly help you with irrigation management decisions on the farm?

Fellow farmers (1).

Extension officer (2).

Private company (3).

Own experience and knowledge (4)

4 b. Rate your efficiency in practising irrigation on the farm

1 2 3 4

Very dissatisfied c.

Moderate

Have you attended any training on irrigation management?

Yes (1) No (2)

5

Very satisfied d.

Who is responsible for the maintenance of the irrigation supply system on the farm? The farmer (1) farmers associations (2) government (3)

Rate your satisfaction with the extension support received regarding irrigation management on the farm?

V22h

V24d

25

1 2 3 4 5

Very dissatisfied Fair Very satisfied

List the major problems which you experience in this regard

………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………...……

………………………………………………………………………………...………

………………………………………………………………………………………...

V24e

V25a.1

V25a.2

V25a.3

V25a.4

Section G

26

27

IRRIGATION ECONOMICS

a.

a.

Do you keep financial and production records on the farm? Yes (1) No (2) V26a

How expensive is irrigation on the farm? V27a

1

Very cheap

2

Cheap

3

Moderate

4

Expensive

5

Very expensive

V23a.

V23b.

V24a.1

V24a.2

V24a.3

V24a.4

V24b

V24c

113

28 a.

b.

Do you receive any financial assistance as an irrigation farmer?

Yes (1) No (2)

If yes who provides you with such assistance ?

Government (1)

Private sector (2)

29 c.

Others (3)

Where do you usually apply for the loan?

Commercial banks (1)

Burial societies (2)

Co-operatives (3)

Government (4)

Others (5)

Are you satisfied with the financial assistance which you receive?

Yes (1) No (2)

Section H

30 a.

b.

MARKETING

Are you happy with the current marketing opportunities? Yes (1) No (2)

Where do you usually market your produce?

From local communities (1)

From other districts (2)

Supermarkets (3)

Fresh markets (4)

Hawkers (5) c.

Do you enter into any contracts with potential supply stores and buyers?

Yes (1) No (2) d.

Do you ever hold any formal discussion with the traders and wholesalers?

Yes (1) No (2) e.

i.

If yes who coordinates the meeting?

Fellow farmers (1)

Extensionists (2)

Farmers marketing board (3)

Who usually support you with regard to marketing information in the area?

Fellow farmers (1)

Trader (2)

Extensionists (3) j.

Marketing agents (4)

How reliable is this information?

Section I

31 a.

b.

c.

1

Very unreliable

ACRO-CLIMATE.

2

Moderate

Do you keep the records of the rain fall on the farm? Yes (1) No (2)

Rate the support you receive from the local extension officer on the interpretation of the weather data?

3

Very reliable

Do you have the rain gauge on the farm? Yes (1) No (2)

Section J

32 a.

1

Very poor

2

Moderate

EXTENSION SUPPORT

.

3

Very good

How often do you meet with your extension officer?

Once a fortnight (1)

Once a month (2)

Twice (3)

Once a year (4)

On ad ho (5)

V28a

V28b

V28c.1

V28c.2

V28c.3

V28c.4

V28c.5

V29a

V30a

V30a.1

V30a.2

V30a.3

V30a.4

V30a.5

V30c

V30d

V30e

V30f.1

V30f.2

V30f.3

V30f.4

V30g

V31a

V31b

V31c

V32a

114

b.

Do you belong to any farmers association? Yes (1) No (2) c.

Name such an association……………………………………………. d.

What problems do you generally experience in your farmers groups?

V32b

V32c

33

34

………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………….. d.

How effective is the local extension officer in solving these problems?

V32d.1

V32d

V32d

V32d

1 2 3

Very poor Moderate Very effective a.

Rate the knowledge of your extension officer with regard to forming of farmers groups?

1 2 3

Very poor Moderate Very good a.

Rate the knowledge of your extension officer with regard to conflicts management

1 2 3

Very poor Moderate Very good

V32e

V33a

Thank you.

V34a

115

3

4

5

6

7

8

Appendix 2

EXTENSIONISTS QUESTIONNARE

1

PERSONAL INFORMATION

Name of the extensionist……………………..

2

Contact number…………………………………

In which district are you working?

Maseru (1).

Mafeteng (2).

Mohale’s Hoek (3).

Quthing (4).

How old are you? ………….

Gender of the respondent.

The highest qualification obtained:

Male (1)

Std 7 (1)

Std 7- 8

Form C

Form E

Certificate

Diploma

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

BSc

Honours

M Sc

PhD

None of the above (11)

(7)

(8)

(9)

(10)

What is your field of specialization?

Animal science (1)

Crop science (2)

Agric extension

Soil science

(3)

(4)

Irrigation engineering

Agric economics

Agric general

(5)

(6)

(7)

What is your position in your field of specialization?

District agricultural officer (1) female (2)

District extension officer

Extension assistant officer

Livestock production officer

Irrigation officer

Crop production officer

Supervisor

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7) a.

Indicate your experience as an extension worker?......................................years. b. What percentage of your time do you spend serving irrigation farmers?

For office

V1

V2

V7

V8a

V8b

V 3

V4

V 5

V6

116

9

10

11

Please indicate your level of satisfaction with your extension delivery.

1

Not satisfied

2

Moderate

3

Satisfied

V9.

Please indicate in order of importance constraints that prevent you from doing your extension work more effectively.

………………………………………………………………………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

EVALUATION OF WORK

a.

Do you evaluate the impact of the service delivering to the farmers?

Yes (1). No (2) b.

How often do you evaluate your work?

Monthly (1)

Quarterly

After every six months

(2)

(3) c.

Annually (4)

Do you benefit from this evaluation and monitoring exercise?

Yes (1) No (2) d.

If Yes name the main advantage you gain from this exercise

………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Indicate the level of satisfaction of your clients (farmers) with regard to your work.

V10.1

V10.2

V10.3

V10.4

V11a

V11b

V11c

V11d

V12 12

1

Not satisfied

2

Moderate

3

Satisfied

13 How efficient is your extension delivery according to your own opinion?

1

Not efficient

2

Moderate

3

Efficient

15

CURRENT TRAINING OF EXTENSIONISTS

14 a.

Have you received any formal training related to irrigation management?

Yes (1). No (2) b.

If yes, please indicate the type of training in the following table

Introductory course to irrigation management

Advance course in irrigation management

Irrigation planning and designing

1

2

3 a.

Maintenance of irrigation system

Evaluation of irrigation system

Who offered the irrigation short courses?

Companies selling irrigation materials

Ministry of agriculture

Agricultural institutions

Donors

4

5

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

V13

V14a

V14b.1

V14b.2

V14b.3

V14b.4

V14b.5

V15a.1

V15a.2

V15a.3

V15a.4

117

21

19

20 b. Is the course material based on local needs or from outside?

Local (1) Outside (2)

17

16 Do you have enough training facilities such as buildings, chairs and computers for your training?

Yes (1). No (2)

How applicable (relevant) was the information gained from the training for your working situation?

1

Not relevant

2

Moderate

3

Relevant

18 Do you regard regular training as an important tool for improve your working performance? Yes (1). No (2)

IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT

22

23

24 a.

Rate your knowledge in regard to

Irrigation of the crops

Selection of appropriate irrigation system.

The competence you have in planning of the irrigation scheduling for crop production b.

Rate the knowledge support which you receive with the planning of irrigation management from:

Researchers of the ministry of agriculture

Subject matter specialist

Private industry

In your view, why do farmers make use of irrigation in your area?

1………………………………………………………………………………………..

2…………………………………………………………………………………………

3………………………………………………………………………………………….

V19.1

V19.2

V19.3

V19.4

V19.5

V19.6

V20.1

V20.2

V20.3

Do you think irrigation can help in poverty reduction in Lesotho? Yes (1) No (2)

How efficient is irrigation in your area?

1

Not efficient

2

Fair

3

Efficient

What are the main two sub optimal performances of irrigation farmers in your area?

(in priority order)

………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………….

How you would rate the performance of irrigation in Lesotho?

1 2 3

Poor Moderate Good

V21

V22

V23.1

V23.2

V24

V15b

V16

V17

V18

118

32

30

31

29

25

26

List in order of importance three points that you think can make irrigation more effective in Lesotho.

1……………………………………………………………………………….

2………………………………………………………………………………

3………………………………………………………………………………

If Yes how appropriate is the technology used by irrigation farmers in your area?

27

1

Not appropriate

IRRICATION ECONOMICS

2

Fair

3

Appropriate

Rate the costs of irrigation as compared to other production items of farming such as fertilizers and herbicides

1

Not expensive

2

Fair

3

Expensive

V25.1

V25.2

V25.3

V26

V27

28 a.

Is credit freely available for irrigation farmers in your district?

Yes (1). No (2) b. If yes who usually provides that service?

The government

Private sectors

Commercial banks

Others specify

(2)

(3)

(4)

Are there any maintenance units in Lesotho where farmers can send their irrigation equipment for services? Yes (1) No (2)

Do you encourage your farmers to keep financial records?

Yes (1). No (2) a.

To what extend are you competent to help an irrigation farmer with the drafting of the business plan?

1

Not competent

2

Fair

3

Competent b.

How often do farmers approach you for assistance with the drafting of the business plan?

1

2 regularly

Sporadic

(1)

3 never

How competent are you in exercising a SWOT analysis of the irrigation business?

1

Not competent

2

Fair

3

Competent

V28a

V28b

V29

V30

V31a.

V31b

V32

119

IRRIGATION ENGINEERING

33 a.

What factors do you take in to consideration with the planning and layout of an irrigation system?

Source of water

Topography

(1)

(2) b.

c.

Soil type

Type of the crop

Managerial skills and ability of the farmer

All of the above

Rate you competency in supporting the farmers with the evaluation of irrigation system with regard to application and distribution of water

1 2 3

Not competent Moderate Competent

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

Rate your competency in checking the suitability of irrigation water for sustainable irrigation practices

35

36

34

1

May contain toxic elements

It may contain some weeds

It may contain some pests

It may contain some diseases

All of the above

IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT

2

Not competent Moderate Competent

What impact does water quality have on plant growth?

3

37 a.

b.

What do you understand by irrigation scheduling?

Designed irrigation intervals for particular crops

Time and number of irrigation regimes given to crops

What determines the irrigation scheduling?

Stages of plant growth

Drought

Type of crop

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(1)

(2)

(1)

(2)

(3)

Availability of water

All of the above

(4)

(5)

Why is the quality of irrigation water important for sustainable irrigation in your area?

Irrigation water may contain toxic elements for plant growth (1)

Irrigation water may affect the soil PH

Irrigation water may affect the soil microbial activity

Some nutrients may not be released for plants to use them

(2)

(3)

(4)

Affect the efficiency of irrigation by blocking water supply

All of the above

CROP PRODUCTION

(5)

(6)

V35b.1

V35b.2

V35b.3

V35b.4

V35b.5

V36.1

V36.2

V36.3

V36.4

V36.5

V36.6 a.

Can you help farmers with the selection of adapted crops for the specific irrigation situation that exist in the farm? Yes (1) No (2) b.

How competent are you with knowledge support to farmers in selection of correct crops for irrigation?

V37a

V33c

V34.1

V34.2

V34.3

V34.4

V34.5

V35a

V33a.1

V33a.2

V33a.3

V33a.4

V33b

1

Not competent

2

Moderate

3

Competent

V37b

120

38

39

How do you encourage the farmers to manage their crops?

Encouraging them to practice weeding

By encouraging them to control pests

By encouraging them to control diseases

All of the above

Do you encourage farmers to analyse the soil before planting?

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

Yes (1) No (2)

What are the main problems of farmers in this area? (In priority order)……………….

…………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

V38.1

V38.2

V38.3

V38.4

V39

V39.1

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………………

V39.2

V39.3

AGRO –CLIMATE

40

41

What climatic conditions do you advice farmers to take into consideration before planting?.................................................................................................................... .....

………………………………………………………………………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………….

What sources of information do you use for predicting weather forecast?

1………………………………………………………………………………………..…..

2……………………………………………………………………………………………

3……………………………………………………………………………………………

V40

V41.1

V41.2

V41.3

42

4…………………………………………………………………………………………… V41.4

What are the possible adverse conditions in each zone? a.

Low lands.

Summer time

(1)…………….. c.

d.

b.

Winter time

Foothills

Senqu Valley

(2)………..……

(3)……………..

(4)…………….

Summer

Winter

Summer

Winter

Mountains Summer

Winter

(1)………..……...

(2)………………

(3)………………

(4)………………

(1)…………....…

(2)……….……...

(3)……….……...

(4)………………

(1)………………

(2)………………

(3)………………

(4)………………

V42a.1

V42a.2

V42a.3

V42a.4

V42b.1

V42b.2

V42b.3

V42b.4

V42c.1

V42c.3

V42c.4

V42d.1

V42d.2

V42d.3

V42d.4

121

44

45

EXTENSION METHODS THAT ARE USED

43 a.

How often to you meet with your farmers?

Once fortnight

Once a month

Twice a year b.

(1)

(2)

(3)

On ad hoc basis

Once a year

(4)

(5)

Twice (6)

Do you apply a specific extension approach or method in your area? Yes (1)

No (2)

46

47

What approach is that?

Client demand approach

Training and Visit approach

Unified extension approach

Top-down approach

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

On a five point scale rate the efficiency of the method selected above?

1 2 3 4

Very inefficient inefficient Reasonably efficient

Efficient

5

Very inefficient

What are the main shortcomings of the current extension method followed?

………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………

To what extend are you sufficiently trained to help farmers with the forming of farmers groups?

1

Not trained

2

Fairly trained

3

Trained

48

49

50

51

52

When do you usually choose the leader of the group?

During the first meeting (1)

After discussing the role of the leader (2)

On a ten point scale where would you rate the efficiency of group extension method for serving irrigation farmers in your area?

1

Very inefficient

2

Inefficient

3

Moderate

4

Efficient

5

Very efficient

To what degree are you satisfied with the participation of irrigation farmers in the group discussion?

1

Not satisfied

2

Moderate

3

Satisfied

Is the group size ideal for participation of members in group discussion?

Yes (1). No (2)

Do you encourage farmers to form union and associations in your district?

Yes (1). No (2)

53 a.

If yes, state one association that you have in this district.

………………………………………………………………………………….. b.

To what extend are you trained to help farmer groups with conflict solving?

1 2 3

Not trained Moderate Trained

V43a

43b

V44.1

V45

V46.1

V46.2

V50

V51

V 52

V53a

V53b

V47

V48.

V49.

122

54 In order of importance state three major constraints of irrigation in this district.

1……………………………………………………………………………………….

2………………………………………………………………………………………

3……………………………………………………………………………………

V54a

V54b

V54c

58

59

61

62

63

55 When evaluating your overall performance of work on a five point scale where can you place yourself?

1

Very poor

2

Poor

3

Fair

4

Good

5

Very good

V55

56

57

60

MARKETING

How efficient is your knowledge support with regard to the planning of an appropriate market strategy for the farmers on ten point scale.

1

Not efficient

2

Fair

3

Efficient

How reliable are your marketing opportunities? a.

1

Very unreliable

2 unreliable

3

Fairly reliable

4

Reliable

5

Very reliable

Through your observations where do farmers get most customers from?

From local communities (1)

From other districts

Supermarkets

(2)

(3) b.

Do you help your farmers to make any contracts with supply stores and buyers?

Yes (1) . No (2)

Do you help farmer to form farmers groups that help in organising a transport for their produce? Yes (1). No (2)

If no how do farmers transport their produce to the market?

Use vehicle (1)

Wheelbarrow

Animal drought power

(2)

(3)

Do you ever organise any formal discussion for traders, wholesaler and farmers?

Yes (1). No (2)

Farmers in the republic of south Africa produce a lot of agricultural products; does this not affect the market of your farmers? Yes (1) No (2)

How does this affect your work and relationship to farmers?

……………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………

V56

V57

V60.

V61

V62

V63.1

V63.2

V58a

V58b

V59

123

……………………………………………………………………………………

V63.3

64 What is the main source of marketing information do you have in the area?

Processors (1)

Traders

Government

(2)

(3)

On a one to five point scale indicate the reliability of this source (1-5).

1

Very unreliable

2

Unreliable

3

Reasonable reliable

4

Reliable

5

Very reliable

Do you think the availability of relevant market information improved or got worse over the last five years? Yes (1). No (2)

List major challenges of marketing in this district?

……………………………………………………………………………………

V64.

V64.4

65

66

……………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………

STORAGE

67

68

Are farmers having stores to keep their produce before taking them to the market?

Yes (1). No (2)

Have you got any training on the packaging and grading of farmers produce?

Yes (1). No (2)

Rate your ability to help farmers in the following aspects of irrigation production. 69

1 2 3 4 5

1 Interpretation of soil analysis

2

3

Soil preparation

Fertiliser application

4

5

6

Weed management

Crop management

Agro–climatology data

(interpretation)

7

8

Planning irrigation system

Maintenance of irrigation system

THANK YOU.

29/06/2011

V65

V66

V66

V66

V69.1

V69.2

V69.3

V69.4

V69.5

V69.6

V69.7

V69.8

V67

V68

124

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